Air New Zealand develop lie flat Skynest beds in economy

Every economy class passengers dreams have been realised today thanks to Air New Zealand who have announced their Economy Skynest lie flat prototype sleep pod.

Imagine being able to kick back and snooze your long haul flight away across the Pacific to North America on your next ski trip without laying out the big business class bucks.

The hope is that the Skynest will be launched in 2021 or 2022 so watch this space. 

The nest of sleeping pods will be located in the economy cabin and will accommodate six passengers. Each pod will be in excess of 200 centimetres in length and 58 centimetres width at the shoulder. 

It is intended that each pod will include a full-size pillow, sheets and blanket, ear plugs along with privacy curtains and lighting designed for sleep. The airline is also exploring other features such as separate reading light, personal device USB outlet and ventilation outlet.


“We have a tremendous amount of development work underway looking at product innovations we can bring across all cabins of the aircraft. A clear pain point for economy travellers on long-haul flights is the inability to stretch out. The development of the Economy Skynest is a direct response to that challenge” says Air New Zealand’s Chief Marketing and Customer Officer, Mike Tod. 

Air New Zealand will make a final decision on whether to operate the Economy Skynest next year after it has assessed the performance of its inaugural year of Auckland-New York operations.

“We see a future flying experience where an economy-class customer on long-haul flights would be able to book the Economy Skynest in addition to their Economy seat, get some quality rest and arrive at their destination ready to go. This is a game changer on so many levels” says General Manager of Customer Experience Nikki Goodman.

The Economy Skynest is the result of three years of Air New Zealand research and development, with the input of more than 200 customers at its Hangar 22 innovation centre in Auckland. 

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.