Air New Zealand says it will remove the Spaceseat premium economy seats from its Boeing 777-300ER fleet just five years after they started flying in 2011.
In its place on board the seven 777-300ERs will be a more standard forward facing premium economy seat already flying on board the airline’s Boeing 777-200ER and 787-9 widebodies, the airline said on Monday.
Air New Zealand general manager for customer experience Carrie Hurihanganui said the decision was based on customer feedback.
“When we unveiled the Spaceseat in 2010, it was revolutionary and clearly the best option in the market at the time, as a string of international awards has proven,” Hurihanganui said in a statement.
“However, seating technology and materials have come a long way since then and our customer research now shows consistently higher satisfaction scores for our newest premium economy offering so it’s time to continue Air New Zealand’s evolution in this space.”
The 777-200ER and 787-9s premium economy seats, which are 19.3in wide and have 41in seat pitch, were first seen on board the airline’s Dreamliners in 2014, and were installed on the 777-200ERs during that type’s cabin reconfigurations that same year.
The change means the 777-300ER premium economy cabin will increase to 54 seats, compared with 44 Spaceseats currently.
Air New Zealand said the 777-300ER reconfiguration program was expected to begin in February 2017 and be completed by November that year.
Meanwhile, Air New Zealand said its three 787s due for delivery between now and October 2017 would feature a heavier premium cabin configuration compared with those already flying.
Specifically, the business cabin will increase by 50 per cent to 27 seats, from 18, while premium economy will expand 57 per cent from 21 seats to 33 seats.
The 777-200ER and 777-300ERs are mainly used on flights to the Americas, while the 787-9s are mainly deployed on Asian, Australian and South Pacific routes.