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Air New Zealand tests beds for economy passengers
[WELLINGTON] Air New Zealand on Wednesday announced a proposal to put beds in economy-class, which it claimed could prove a "game changer" for passengers desperate to stretch out on long-haul flights.
The airline, which operates some of the world's most lengthy flights from its remote South Pacific base, said the "Economy Skynest" aimed to bring pod-bed technology to the skies.
"A clear pain point for economy travellers on long-haul flights is the inability to stretch out," the airline's chief marketing officer Mike Tod said.
"The development of the Economy Skynest is a direct response to that challenge."
The pods contain six beds, each measuring 200 by 58cm with a pillow, sheets, blankets, ear plugs and a privacy curtain.
The idea is that the pods sit in the economy class cabin and passengers pre-book sessions in them to break up long-haul flights, rather than occupying them for the entire journey.
The beds will not be introduced for a least a year, as the airline works through getting the concept approved by regulators.
"This is a game changer on so many levels," said a spokeswoman for the firm, which said it was willing to license the Skynest to other airlines.