Air New Zealand Just Unveiled Its New Cabin Design with Lie-Flat Sleep Pods

The SkyNest pods will be available for Economy fares too.

Courtesy of Air New Zealand
Courtesy of Air New Zealand
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It's easier than ever to get to New Zealand now that the country has lifted its pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements. It's a more luxurious experience than pre-pandemic too. Air New Zealand has unveiled an improved cabin design, and it includes the world's first lie-flat sleep pods—even for Economy fares

On Tuesday, the carrier announced the update to its Boeing 787 cabins, including the SkyNest pods and all-new Business Premiere Luxe front row. The company's redesign has been five years in the making (and up to 170,000 hours total). According to Air New Zealand, the interiors were inspired by Aotearoa's iconic native bird, the Tui, and includes cushions, NASA cooling pillows, and bedding. 

Meanwhile, the airline is also upgrading its food offerings with "the best of New Zealand local produce," lighter choices for Premium customers, and better-quality meals for Economy passengers.

Courtesy of Air New Zealand

"New Zealand's location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra long-haul travel experience," Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said in a press release. "We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort, and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested. Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first holiday hotspot—they want to hit the ground running." 

Sustainability has remained a goal for Air New Zealand throughout the redesign process. In fact, the carrier used fabric instead of leather to reduce its carbon emissions while sustainably sourcing blankets, pillows, and other products on board. The serviceware in Premium cabins is reportedly 20% lighter, reducing carbon emissions, and the serviceware in Economy will eliminate 28 million plastic dishes from inflight every year.

"It's a proud moment to finally unveil five years of hard [work], in what truly is a cabin of possibility," Foran added. "One that will provide customers with options to get some shut-eye wherever they're sitting." 

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Megan Schaltegger is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist.