Boeing and Air New Zealand welcomed the airline’s first 777-300ER (extended range) at a ceremony at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. Air New Zealand ordered the first of five 777-300ERs in August 2007 to complement the eight Boeing 777-200ERs already in its long-haul fleet.
The airline intends to use the first three airplanes to operate between Auckland, Los Angeles and London beginning April 2011.
Air New Zealand’s Boeing 777-300ERs feature a unique, innovative seat experience in the Economy, Premium Economy and Business Premier classes. For example, “Skycouch” seating, known as CuddleClass, is available in the first 10 rows of Economy Class and will allow passengers who book three-wide seat space to raise the footrests with the touch of a button to create a lie-flat space similar to a sofa at home.
Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy “Spaceseats” will feature a larger seat area and more room between passengers. When the seat reclines, it slides forward, preserving the personal space of the passenger sitting behind. All seats have in-seat power and USB connections, allowing passengers to connect their MP3 players with the in-flight entertainment systems.
“The Boeing 777-300ER was an excellent choice for the routes Air New Zealand operates, especially given its 15 percent fuel efficiency improvements over current aircraft and excellent customer proposition,” said Air New Zealand Group General Manager, International Airline, Ed Sims.