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January 27, 2010

Air New Zealand Introduces Lie-down "Skycouch" Seats for Economy Class

A couple rests on the new Air New Zealand Skycouch seats

International travel can be a pain in the neck, literally. Air New Zealand is making that journey easier with the new Boeing 777-300 ER that will feature lie-flat economy seats, called "Skycouch" seats, providing a flat surface to sleep or even a place for the kids to play.

The new seating arrangement comprises a row of three seats that has been engineered to create a flat, flexible space all the way to the seat-back in front. The airplane will have 22 sets of Skycouch seats, located in the first eleven window rows in the economy class cabin. The 340-seat aircraft, scheduled to be available in November 2010, will be arranged with 246 seats in economy (including 66 seats creating 22 Skycouch combinations).

Skycouch seats will be the cost of two seats at standard prices with the third seat at approximately half-price. Seats are set to go on sale in late April 2010. The first routes to offer the experience will be on selected NZ5 and NZ6 services between Auckland and Los Angeles starting December 2010, followed by dedicated return services on NZ1 and NZ2 between Auckland and Los Angeles and Auckland to London starting April 2011. Air New Zealand also expects to refit its fleet of eight Boeing 777-200 aircrafts in 2011, with all Asian, North American and UK services featuring the new seats by 2012.

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