Innovation That Matters

Economy passengers on long-haul flights will be able to sleep with the Skynest sleeping pod | Photo source Air New Zealand

Sleeping pods for economy-class flyers

Travel & Tourism

Air New Zealand is developing bunk-bed style sleeping pods for its economy-class passengers

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Spotted: To provide economy-class passengers with a more comfortable experience during long-haul flights, Air New Zealand has filed a patent application for the Skynest sleeping pod. The Skynest will consist of six sleeping pods that will allow passengers to stretch out and lie flat.  

The beds are 200 centimetres long and 58 centimetres wide, arranged into two bunks on three levels. To lend the feel of a capsule hotel, they will come complete with a pillow, sheet, blanket, earplugs, and a privacy curtain. Other features such as reading lights, USB outlets and individual ventilation are being explored. As there are a limited number of pods in the Skynest, passengers will only be able to book a space for a portion of their flight. These timed sessions can also be purchased in-flight, with the flight attendants changing the bedding for each individual use.

Research and development for Skynest started three years ago, in anticipation of the airline’s longest flight to date. The flight between Auckland and New York will rack up a flight time of up to 17 hours and 40 minutes and will launch in October this year. The pods have not yet been signed off by regulators, as they will be assessed during the launch of the Auckland-New York flights and a final decision to install them will be made in 2021.

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