China Airlines will introduce Air New Zealand’s Skycouch in September, when the first of its new B777s are delivered.
The Skycouch, which was unveiled by ANZ in 2011, is a row of three seats that has moveable leg and armrests, giving economy passengers the chance to lie down horizontally.
When the armrests are folded away, a flat area of 61.2 inches in length is created, while the legrests are lifted up to meet with the seats in front (see news, December 2010).
The product features on ANZ’s own B777-300ERs, as well as on its forthcoming B787-9 Dreamliner, which arrived in New Zealand on Monday as part of a series of test flights (see news, January 6) and is due for delivery in the summer.
Seats are configured 3-4-3 with the two outer sets having the option of being converted into Skycouches. As China Airlines will be using the same aircraft as ANZ, the Skycouch will likely be in the same layout.
North American and European routes are planned for China Airline’s new planes. The carrier currently flies to four European destinations — Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome and Vienna.
At the moment, ANZ offers the Skycouch on its B777-300ER route between Auckland, Los Angeles and London.
China Airlines president Huang-Hsiang Sun said: “The introduction of the B777-300ER is another important step toward growing ourglobal operations and enhancing our product offering.”
ANZ has confirmed that it has received strong interest from other airlines in the product but cannot reveal which ones.
CEO Christopher Luxon said: “We are exploring licensing agreements with other carriers on non-competing routes.”