Look for a new business class seat flying on Air New Zealand in the months ahead. It includes an option dubbed “Business Premier Luxe” at the front of the business class cabin.
In a regulatory filing Air New Zealand shows a new 1-2-1 layout for the business class cabin, featuring 42 seats.
The carrier offers two layouts for the 787-9 today, each in a 1-1-1 arrangement. The largest business class cabin currently flies with 27 seats.
Photos from the filing highlight the increased space available in the first row for Business Premier Luxe passengers. The description of the accessibility process also describes a process to “remove the suite door” and flipping up the ottoman to provide room to maneuver in the space.
Confirmation of suite doors, even if just for the Luxe seats, adds a nice bit of privacy for travelers.
Presumably these seats will carry a surcharge of some sort, though those details are not included in the filing.
The regular Business Premier seats do not appear to have doors based on the images in the filing, though the company does refer to them as “suites” at various points in the document.
Seats will be pitched at 45″ and aligned at 24 degrees from the longitudinal aircraft centerline. When flat the bed length will be 80.25″. The seats will be 20.5″ wide.
The seats appear to be the Super Diamond herringbone layout, though that remains unconfirmed.
The regulatory request comes as part of the requirement to demonstrate accessibility for the new cabin. Assuming approval from regulators, the new configuration is expected to begin installation on the carrier’s 787-9 fleet beginning in late April 2022.
Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty offered the following statement regarding the filing:
Accessibility for customers with disabilities is a big part of our enhanced aircraft offering, and as part of this, we are in the early stages of designing our new cabin layout. What we’re proposing in this submission is a concept to ensure safe access for all customers into and out of the premium seats.
This is a very early submission and as part of the process, we are required to get approval from authorities such as the US Department of Transport to ensure the seats meet the latest design and safety requirements specified. It is also the same process we went through to seek approval for the Business Premier lie-flat bed in 2013.
To date more than 80,000 design and engineering hours have gone into the new Business Premier seats, along with 18 months of customer research and testing, so by no means is this the extent of what we’re doing. When we do have confirmed details to share, we look forward to doing so. There’s more in store so stay tuned!”
Note that the photos above are from a mock-up Business Premier cabin in the Air New Zealand research and development facilities. The set-up uses a “prototype of the standard Business Premier and Business Premier Luxe seat design” which the carrier intends to install on the 787-9, according to the filing.
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