Air New Zealand (ANZ) is so pleased with the success of its new Pacific Premium Economy product (introduced only six months ago) on long distance routes, it is increasing the number of seats by a third to meet demand.
The carrier’s B747s (these fly ANZ’s flagship routes to the US and the UK) will see Premium Economy boosted from 23 to 31 seats. The eight new seats are being taken from the economy zone with the 747s being converted between next August and October.
Premium Economy is currently located on the 747’s upper deck, so the new zone will be located at the front of economy class on the lower deck. ANZ’s B777s (which were delivered from Boeing’s factory already fitted with Premium Economy) will keep their current 18-seater configuration.
Ed Sims, ANZ’s group general manager, said, “We introduced Premium Economy for those customers who seek the additional comfort and space but who do not look to purchase a Business Premier seat.”
“The new seating provided at a very competitive price, has proven extremely popular on long-haul routes to Los Angeles, San Francisco and London. We have seen average cabin loadings of 80 per cent with up to 95 per cent during peak travel periods.”
“Our customers are telling us that the extra width and legroom are ‘excellent’ and the new seating arrangement within a small cabin arrangement is ‘very comfortable’.”
Premium Economy offers a 39-40 inch seat pitch with a seat cushion width of 18.5 inches and a 9 inch angle of recline. By comparison, the statistics for regular economy are 34 inches, 17 inches and 6 inch respectively.
ANZ flies daily from Heathrow to Auckland via Los Angeles. From October 29 it will launch a second daily flight to Auckland via Hong Kong. Premium Economy tickets for current travel are priced at £1,405 return.
For more information go to airnewzealand.co.uk
Report by Alex McWhirter