Air New Zealand (ANZ) has revealed it is taking passenger experience more seriously with the arrival of its A321neo (new engine option), which has a cabin layout that was created with fliers comfort and convenience in mind.
The interior of the new 214-seat aircraft was designed in consultation with customers and features leather upholstered seats are 3cm wider at the middle seat and 1cm wider on the aisle and window. The ergonomics of the seating allows ANZ’s customers can “sink further into the seat back creating up to 7% more usable space” than the airlines current fleet.
Other enhancements include expanded overhead locker space, a new smart in-flight entertainment system with a 10” screen and high power USB charging points as well as passenger Wi-Fi.
Air New Zealand chief executive officer Christopher Luxon said: “We extensively tested and refined the neo in-flight experience with customers to ensure we could incorporate their feedback while meeting regulatory and operating requirements and we’re confident we’ve delivered an in-flight experience our customers are going to enjoy.”
The arrival of the A321neo comes as part of the NZD 2.8 billion (USD 1.9 bn) fleet refreshment which includes 13 Airbus neo aircraft (seven A321neos and six A320neos) to replace the A320 fleet that currently operates Tasman and Pacific Island services and a further seven Airbus A321neo for anticipated domestic network growth.
Luxon also stressed the importance of the new aircraft to the airline’s fleet is necessary for its short haul strategy: “Australia and the Pacific Islands are a vitally important part of our Pacific Rim network. We operate up to 240 services each week with our Airbus narrow body aircraft. These new aircraft are key to enabling us to grow our short haul network while offering our customers a great in-flight experience,”
A second A321neo is also expected to enter service in November, while the airline’s first A320neo is scheduled for February 2019. The remaining aircraft will follow at intervals through until late 2019. The additional A321neos for the airline’s domestic network are expected to be delivered from 2020 to 2024.