Air New Zealand to launch trans-Tasman premium economy

By Chris Chamberlin, June 17 2015
Air New Zealand to launch trans-Tasman premium economy

Virgin Australia partner and Star Alliance member Air New Zealand will launch premium economy on flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from later this year.

Already available between Perth and Auckland, that's extended to every trans-Tasman service operated by Boeing 777s and Boeing 787s from October 25 2015 – making for a smoother journey for guests also connecting onwards to destinations such as Los Angeles, Houston and Buenos Aires.

While these aircraft have been flying to Australia's east coast for some time and already come equipped with premium economy seats in addition to business class, Air NZ said its aircraft mix previously made it difficult to sell premium economy across the Tasman.

Chief Sales and Commercial Officer Cam Wallace added that “with the arrival of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, refurbishment of our Boeing 777-200 fleet and exit of the Boeing 747-400, we now have a consistent Premium Economy offering across our twin aisle wide body fleet.”

Premium economy provides guests with greater space, food and beverage that's a notch above economy plus a boosted baggage allowance, priority check-in privileges and access to the priority boarding lane.

Aboard Boeing 787s and refurbished Boeing 777-200s, guests can unwind in reclining leather seats in a 2-3-2 layout...

... while the Boeing 777-300ER comes with the advanced Spaceseats in a 2-2-2 configuration:

Fares are now on sale, with a return journey from Sydney to Auckland in premium economy up for grabs from $879 in late October:

The launch naturally means the removal of an 'unpublished' benefit in Air NZ's Airpoints scheme and Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer, whereby top-tier travellers can currently buy an economy fare across the Tasman and then stretch out in a premium economy seat at no extra charge.

A spokesperson for the airline told Australian Business Traveller that as part of the roll-out, passengers travelling on Works Deluxe fares in economy will no longer enjoy lounge access “to better align with the existing Premium Economy offering, which also does not include lounge access.”

However, guests who had already purchased a Works Deluxe fare prior to today, June 17, will still receive lounge access wherever available – including when travelling after October 25.

The Kiwi carrier will also roll out premium economy on its Pacific Island and Bali services from the same date.

Also read: Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 premium economy seat review

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 142

Those who usually book "Works Delux" on the 772, 77W and Dreamliner will no longer have access to Premium Economy. Works Delux will only be available on A320 and 767 which dont operate a Premium Economy product. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Who actually uses Works Delux (Espically on the A320's) on the last 5 flights between BNE - CHC I have only ever seen one couple booked on Works Delux

It could just be the route but it still seems like a poor load in that booking class

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 269

Chief Sales and Commercial Officer Cam Wallace added that “with the arrival of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, refurbishment of our Boeing 777-200 fleet and exit of the Boeing 747-400, we now have a consistent Premium Economy offering across our twin aisle wide body fleet.”

 

Except that the 787's/refurbed 772s and unrefurbed 772s have a different PE product to the 77W.

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 142

@nix584 The PE products between the Dreamliners/772's are different to the 77W's. ANZ only have two more 772's (OKC & OKD) to upgrade to the new PE product but by October all 8 772's will sport the same product as the Dreamliners albeit different to the 77W's. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 269

Correct, that's what I said. Cam Wallace has said that there'll be a consistent PE offering across the twin aisle widebody fleet... but there isn't and won't be. If you fly PE from PER-AKL-LAX you will experience two different product types (the 77W offering superior to the 789 offering). While both are PE, the hard product at least is very different.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 336

How can they add premium economy to Bali when the 767 flies this route and there is no PE on that aircraft

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Yeh they are not - The 767 will continue the seasonal flight to bali next year which will mean works delux will stay on bali flights or at least until it is replaced by a 787

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 336

They must be upgrading the aircraft then because they specifically mention Bali

Qantas

13 Jun 2015

Total posts 143

ANZ will still keep these 767s until 2018-19. They will fly seasonal routes like Perth during the summer period.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 336

No one is disputing that. What I am saying is that Air NZ have said that PE will be available on Bali, however the aircraft used on Bali is the B767 which isn't fitted with PE which indicates an aircraft upgrade on this route. I mean, am I only one that read the article?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Yes we read the article but in the booking system the 767 will operate the Bali flights for the next seasonal period

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Yes you are right the 767's will continue to operate on the following routes

Bali - Auckland 

Perth - Christchurch

Sydney - Auckland

Auckland - Honolulu

Sydney - Rarotonga

Auckland - RAR - LAX

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

04 Sep 2012

Total posts 136

Hmm intersting...

I wonder if this will deter people from purchasing business class? However this will be good for businesspeople whose companies only allow economy travel on shorthaul international flights. Also, Australians who are flying on NZ to US destinations in PE can now fly PE the whole way which is good.

I'm a little annoyed because as an Elite member, (as well as gold/koru) i 'could' seat select in PE when travelling in Y.

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 142

ANZ are keeping their 5 767's until 2018/2019 now so wouldn't be surprised if they are refitted (they're in desperate need of refurbishment) to be used for Bali unless they may surprise us an allocate a Dreamliner or possibly a 772 on that route. 

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

04 Sep 2012

Total posts 136

I know what you mean about the 767's. They are very dated and I avoid them as much as possible. The J seats are all scuffed and have no storage. I would like to see a 787/777 flying to Honolulu, Papeete and Denpasar as the 767 just doesn't suffice on 6+ hour routes.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 40

The Economy product on the 767s is absoltely fine though, nothing wrong with it whatsoever. 

AFAIK 2 767s are leaving the fleet in 2016, then another 1 or 2 in 2017, then the final retirement in 2018. 

Unlikely they will refurbish the 767s Yes, the Business product is old and tired, but its not worth upgrading the product. Maybe they will rebrand it as PE for the HNL, DPS, PPT & TT flights?

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Dammit! Well there goes the last perk that made flying NZ to SFO worthwhile. 

Two years ago you'd get premium economy to AKL then a nine-abreast 777 (or ten abreast 747) to SFO. Now if you pay an economy fare you'll be stuck in ten-abreast 777 all the way. No thankee.

Meanwhile VA's removal of the MEL-LAX flight makes it a three-leg journey to get there on VA metal, with an annoying terminal change at either SYD or BNE.

The real question is whether I should now switch my loyalty to QF.

I just switched to QF. Looking forward to SYD - SFO. Bring it!

20 Apr 2014

Total posts 94

not great news for QF - either PE seat would be superior to their domestic J ones on the Jitconnect 737s, wonder how the fares will compare.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 336

Qantas offers business class on every flight on the Tasman. Air NZ will only offer PE on flights that currently offers business class

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Will be interesting to see if new A320 Neos come with a premium economy seat at the front

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jun 2015

Total posts 13

I don’t understand how this can be competitive when its more expensive than LAN fully lie flat business class from Sydney on their 787. Even China Airways have cheaper business class at certain times of the year.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 40

For a start, LA only flies the AKL-SYD route, and only once daily (with an awful 6am ex AKL flight). Useless for those wanting to go to MEL/BNE etc. Secondly, those who want to stick to Star Alliance/ loyal to NZ for lounge access/points. Thirdly, other airlines have successfully charged more than LA for subpar business products (QF 737, NZ 767 etc) without issue so i dont see how NZ will have isuues selling PE. After all, Works deluxe at a similar price sold well on the 777/787.

Im sure they will also get people from Australia connecting to Longhaul North America flights using it.

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 229

The Air NZ product is way too complicated and inconsistent. Too many aircraft types with multiple cost packages and different seats. You really need to know the airline well to get what you want. I guess they try to straddle the premium/budget divide within the one airline but not sure it comes off all that well sometimes. They make a good profit so I guess it works as a business strategy.

I wonder if Works Deluxe fares will drop in price now that they don't have lounge access?  I doubt it.  AirNZ is far too inconsistent for me.  Yesterday I moved across to Qantas and joined Qantas Club at that discounted rate.  I've been with Koru and travelled AirNZ where possible for years now but I'm a little over the inconsistency in product. Airpoints is very average too.

QF NZ

28 Jul 2013

Total posts 27

After years of ANZ Gold and QF Platinum, all long gone,  I still want a few comforts, -priority check in, -priority bags,- lounge access and a comfortable chair in a plane without someone in my face / space.

Works Deluxe did that for me, but just how successful that was as an option we probably will never know.

So if PE is the other option it has to have pounge access, otherwise my dear ANZ can go whistle.  

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 38

Aren't Virgin and Air NZ trans-Tasman partners? VA announced a few months ago it was getting rid of Premium Economy on shorthaul international and putting in proper Business Class. Now its partner says its introducing Premium on the same routes. Haven't they ever heard of standardisation?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 40

NZ already offers Business on its 777/787/767 Transtasman flights. They are introducing PE on top of that.....

What a shame :( I used to like being able to select a premium economy seat on the widebodies as a Star Gold. All good things must come to an end I suppose

24 Feb 2015

Total posts 22

They have just lost my custom.  The only benefit of paying AIr NZ's prices as Gold was getting the PE seats.  If I'm sitting anywhere on the plane now, I'll be flying (almost) anyone else where I get movies, food and baggage, for the same money.  At least I got my Qantas Status match - big win for them (and me!)  Interested to understand why people still fly Air NZ these days/will elites change now they don't get PE seating? 

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Love to try those spaceseats


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