Air New Zealand’s new Skycouch could be available on non-competing airlines in the near future, an airline official told Flightglobal.
The boutique airline, whose core business is ultra-long haul flights, is looking to license its Skycouch – a row of three economy class seats that convert into a ‘couch’ – to airlines that don’t compete on its routes, an airline spokesperson confirmed.
The armrests in the window, middle and aisle seat can be stowed and the leg rests rise, creating a ‘couch’ experience.
The skycouch made its debut in April this year- to great fanfare – on the airline’s 25-hour journey westward from London to New Zealand via LA, on its 777-300ER.
Designed by the airline and built by seat manufacturer Ricaro, the Skycouch is designed for couples or small families seeking reclining comfort in economy. The armrests in the window, middle and aisle seat can be stowed and the leg rests rise, creating a ‘couch’ experience.
While aircraft manufacturer Boeing has not included the Skycouches on its list of interior cabin features for the 787 Dreamliner, Air New Zealand said it is open to installing the product on its new 787-9 Dreamliner – a slightly bigger version of the 787-8 for which it is the launch customer. The airline expects to take delivery of the stretched 787 in 2014.
Skycouches are positioned in-between economy and premium economy in their pricing structure. Customers must buy two economy seats and a ‘skycouch’ fee for the middle seat. As an example fare, round-trip flights between London to LA departing on November 16 and returning on November 30 cost £1,295 for a couple compared to £907 for two adults in economy.