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Air New Zealand unveils sleep pod prototype for economy class passengers

The airline has been working on a new lie-flat prototype “sleep product” for long-haul economy class travellers who crave some shut-eye.

Air New Zealand unveils sleep pod prototype for economy class passengers

Air New Zealand's sleep pod prototype. (Photo: Air New Zealand)

Those flying from Auckland to New York on Air New Zealand may soon be able to stretch out for some much-needed rest – even in economy class.

The airline on Wednesday (Feb 26) revealed that it has been working on a new lie-flat prototype “sleep product” for long-haul economy class travellers who crave some shut-eye.

Dubbed the Economy Skynest, the sleeping area features six full-length sleep pods.

READ: How to survive an ultra long-haul flight on your next holiday

The Skynest can accommodate up to six passengers. (Photo: Air New Zealand)

Each pod also comes equipped with a full-size pillow, sheets and blanket, ear plugs as well as privacy curtains and lighting designed for sleep.

Air New Zealand said that it is also exploring other features such as a separate reading light, personal device USB outlet and ventilation outlet.

Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod said that as the airline operates some of the world’s longest flights, such as the upcoming Auckland-New York service at around 17 hours one way, it wants to make the experience more enjoyable.

READ: Qantas completes ultra-long-haul test flight between London and Sydney

The Skynest will be located in the economy cabin of long-haul flights. (Photo: Air New Zealand)

“A clear pain point for economy travellers on long-haul flights is the inability to stretch out. The development of the Skynest is a direct response to that challenge,” he said.

Air New Zealand will make a final decision on whether to operate the Skynest next year after it has assessed the performance of its inaugural year of Auckland-New York operations.

Future customers on long-haul flights would be able to book the Skynest in addition to their economy seat.

READ: Singapore Airlines’ world’s longest flight: What it’s like to fly 18 hours in the back of the plane

Each Skynest sleeping pod is at least 200cm long and 58cm wide. (Photo: Air New Zealand)
Source: CNA/zl(cy)

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