Air New Zealand has announced Auckland-Perth will be the first scheduled route ever operated by the revolutionary new Boeing 787-9 when the airline takes delivery of the launch aircraft next year.
Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon made the announcement at the official opening of the airline’s Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre in Auckland today. A feature of the centre is the only Boeing 787-9 full cabin interior outside the factory in Seattle.
“The 787-9 is going to be a game changer for Air New Zealand and is a key element in delivering on our Go Beyond growth plan. Not only is the 787-9 around 20 percent more fuel efficient than the aircraft it’s replacing, it also sets a new benchmark for passenger comfort,” Mr Luxon says.
“Our new Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre will give us a venue to showcase the on board experience before the world’s first 787-9 to enter commercial service joins our fleet in the middle of next year. We’ll have a busy programme of hosting customers, trade partners and stakeholders at the centre over the coming months. We are confident they will be as excited as we are about the future of air travel.”
Mr Luxon says the Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre will also be the hub for further innovation from Air New Zealand.
“We are determined to deliver step changes in customer experience and to work with our trade partners to crack business issues and seize opportunities together. This centre provides a focal point to bring to life the best of Kiwi ingenuity and we are going to make it available as a venue for other like-minded Kiwi businesses to use.”
Mr Luxon also unveiled the cabin layout and configuration details for Air New Zealand’s 10 new Boeing 787-9 aircraft at the centre’s opening.
The airline has confirmed an 18 seat lie-flat Business Premier zone in a herringbone layout and a separate 21 seat Premium Economy cabin in a 2-3-2 configuration, each with its own dedicated bathroom facilities. The two Economy cabins will accommodate 263 passengers, including 14 Skycouch rows. All customers will benefit from the Boeing 787-9s larger windows, cleaner cabin air, higher humidity and lower relative cabin pressure.
Mr Luxon says the 787-9 dedicated routes to follow Auckland-Perth (which is operated as part of its trans-Tasman alliance with Virgin Australia) will be Auckland-Tokyo and Auckland-Shanghai.
Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia customers are able to book on the 787-9 service between Auckland and Perth for travel from 15 October 2014 at www.airnewzealand.com and www.virginaustralia.com.
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