MIAMI — Air New Zealand has announced a $100 million investment to increase additional premium seating on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, and to refurbish its Boeing 777-300ER fleet.
This means that the Spaceseat premium economy product available on the triple sevens will be gone, just five years after the carrier introduced the seat in 2011.
Instead, the carrier will now install the premium economy seat already flying on board the 777-200ERs and Dreamliners. According to Air New Zealand, the change comes “in response to customer trends.”
“When we unveiled the Spaceseat in 2010, it was revolutionary and clearly the best option in the market at the time, as a string of international awards has proven.” Carrie Hurihanganui, Air New Zealand’s General Manager Customer Experience, said in a statement.
“However, seating technology and materials have come a long way since then and our customer research now shows consistently higher satisfaction scores for our newest Premium Economy offering, so it’s time to continue Air New Zealand’s evolution in this space.”
The 777-200ER and 787-9 premium economy seats are manufactured by Zodiac Aerospace, and are a variant of a business class seat produced by the manufacturer for single-aisle jetliners. The seat is also used by Cathay Pacific in its own premium economy product.
The seats were seen on board for the first time on the carrier’s Dreamliners in 2014, and were installed on the 777-200ERs during that year. The Boeing 777-300ER refurbishment program is expected to be completed by late November 2017, and it will take the number of premium economy seats on this aircraft from 44 to 54.
In the case of the 787-9s, the new cabin configuration will increase the number of Business Premier seats from 18 to 27 and that of Premium Economy seats from 21 to 33. The new Dreamliners scheduled to be delivered from October 2017 will arrive with this new cabin arrangement as well.
“With these changes, we look forward to being able to offer our customers a consistent Premium Economy product across our long haul fleet and being able to welcome even more customers into our premium cabins with the expanded premium footprint on our Dreamliners.” Hurihanganui said.