Air NZ says Skycouch interest strong
China Airlines has been revealed as the first international licensee of Air New Zealand's Skycouch seat, with the flag carrier airline hinting it could be the first of many similar agreements.
Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said the Skycouch was revolutionary for the industry and other carriers had shown intense interest in it.
"We have seen strong interest from other airlines in the product and are exploring licensing agreements with other carriers on non-competing routes," Luxon said.
"The Skycouch has transformed the economy flying experience and has been really well received by our customers since it was first introduced in 2011."
China Airlines will begin introducing the Skycouch to the cabin of its new Boeing 777-300ERs fleet from September.
This is Air New Zealand's first licensing agreement for the Skycouch since the expiry of the exclusivity period it adopted at the seat's launch in 2011.
The New Zealand-designed Skycouch is a row of three economy seats that combine to create a flat flexible space for passengers to stretch out and relax in.
Air New Zealand developed the seat as part of a three-year innovation process to reinvent its long-haul experience.
Skycouch is in use on the Auckland-Los Angeles route.
The China Airlines deal was announced in November but confidentiality terms in the agreement prevented Air New Zealand naming the carrier until now.