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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Air New Zealand to "revolutionize" transpacific travel with new cabins

by Grant Martin

Tomorrow's announcement from Air New Zealand about their new cabin configurations is purported to be a doozy, a change to transpacific flight that could forever impact the way we think about airline travel.
A few small clues about the configurations have leaked through, including a recent interview with ANZ's CEO Rob Fyfe where he indicates that most of the changes would be in the economy and premium economy sections. A recent article from the New Zealand Herald also suggests that the airline may go as far as installing lie-flat seats throughout all of coach.
Here at Gadling we've got a couple of ideas for where the award-winning airline can go with their long-haul aircraft:
Like Delta has considered, ANZ could reconfigure their cabin with staggered seats, incorporating more room for passengers and creating even more space to pack in seats.
One of the wide-body options that Airbus has recently offered is for bunk beds in economy. Could Boeing and their 777 aircraft use the same thing?
The above interview with Rob Fyfe highlighted the importance that ANZ is placing on families in the future. Using cafe style (facing one another) seating in coach could help families coordinate, make extra space and softening the pain of long haul travel.
Either way, we've sent our own airline expert Kent Wien out to the Air New Zealand ranch in Auckland, New Zealand to scope out the new changes, snap some photos and get the skinny on what the big excitement is all about. We'll get you updated Monday afternoon after the official launch.

UPDATE: Read all about the new changes here.


Anonymous January 27, 2010 at 12:15 AM