Travellers eager to experience ANZ’s innovative Skycouch and Spaceseat products on its forthcoming Boeing 777-300 aircraft, can now buy tickets for the London-LA-Auckland route for travel from April 2011.
Much has been made of the new economy Skycouch offering from Air New Zealand, which allows passengers to buy three adjacent seats and convert them into flat sleeping surface.
Business Traveller’s Andrew Gough travelled to Auckland for the unveiling of the seat in February (see online news February 5 for an indepth report), and more recently visited the carrier’s London office to get a sneak preview of the seats on their way to be fitted at the Boeing factory in Seattle (see online news April 17).
ANZ is due to take delivery of its first 777-300 in November this year, before putting it into service on the Auckland-Los Angeles route from December. Then from April 2011 (when the carrier has taken delivery of its second and third aircraft) ANZ will place the 777-300 on its NZ1 and NZ2 routes between London and Auckland (via Los Angeles).
Tickets for flights are now on sale for departures from April 2, 2011, and Business Traveller tried out some dummy bookings to see what prices travellers can expect. For a departure on Saturday April 2, 2011 returning two weeks later on Saturday April 16, a return fare for two people (we’re assuming a lone passenger is more likely opt for the Spaceseat premium economy option, detailed later) will cost a total of £2,890.94 including taxes, or £1,445.47 per person, when booking the three-seat Skycouch option. This compares to a normal economy fare on the same dates of £1,078.57 per person.
The fare for the new premium economy Spaceseat offering on the same flights is £1,888.47, comparable to the £1,987.47 quoted for travel on the current premium economy offering on the same route departing Saturday March 12, 2011, returning Saturday March 26, 2011.
The new 777-300 aircraft will also feature a Panasonic IFE system with features including the option of ordering drinks via the touchscreen, and the ability to see what neighbouring seats are watching via the Screenshare feature (useful for parents wanting to keep an eye on their children’s viewing choices). The embedded video below explains this in more detail.
For more information visit airnewzealand.co.uk.
Report by Mark Caswell