Photos, video: Air New Zealand's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner seats

By David Flynn, November 7 2013
Photos, video: Air New Zealand's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner seats

Air New Zealand's Boeing 787-9 will take to the skies in October 2014, and we've got the first photos and details of the stretched Dreamliner.

The Kiwi carrier is Boeing's launch customer for the 787-9, which is a larger and longer-range version of the original 787-8 model.

Each of Air New Zealand's ten Boeing 787-9s will see a three-class configuration of 18 seats in business class, 21 in premium economy and 263 in economy.

We've put together this quick video clip to showcase the seats.

Business Premier

The pointy end of Air NZ's Boeing 787-9 will see 18 of the familiar Business Premier seats already seen on the airline's flagship Boeing 777s.

The lie-flat seats are arranged in a 1-1-1 herringbone layout so that every passenger has direct aisle access.

The seat is fitted with a 'memory foam' mattress, duvet and two full size pillows.

Premium Economy

Less familiar are the premium economy seats, with Air NZ choosing a more standard 'off the shelf' design instead of its Spaceseat (show below).

AirNZ's Spaceseat has been dropped from the Boeing 787

The 787-9's premium economy seats have been sourced from US seat designer Zodiac, with Air New Zealand calling them "a customised seat best described as Business-lite."

Arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration, the seats have a 41” pitch and 5” wide armrest, with a generous 9" recline, integrated leg rest and extendable foot support.

There are 21 premium economy seats in this stand-alone cabin, which also has its own dedicated bathroom facilities.

Read: Air New Zealand “remains committed” to premium economy Spaceseat


The bulk of Air New Zealand's Boeing 787-9 is given over to two economy cabins with all seating in a 3-3-3 layout.

This includes 14 Skycouch rows of three seats where the legrests and armrests flip all the way up to convert into a 'sofa-like' flat surface.

The Skycouch rows have a 33" pitch compared to the 31-32" of standard economy seats.

Read: Testing Air New Zealand's Skycouch on the 777-300ER

The rest of the economy cabin will be fitted with a standard economy seat from Zodiac but customised to Air New Zealand's specifications including a slimline seat back for more space, sculpted upholstering and a more flexible headrest.

See: Air New Zealand's Boeing 787 seatmap

Get the latest updates for business traveller and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 142

Well done AirNZ, fantastic products! Im glad they have decided to go back to a more conventional PE seat. Ive travelled the space-seat a couple of times to LA, never was a big fan. Cant wait to try it!

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1245

I'm sorry, all I can see is the first picture of those hideous printed pink uniforms. Ick!

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

Hey will Hong Kong get the 787-9?

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

04 Sep 2012

Total posts 136

AMAZING! Once again Air New Zealand is at the forefront of delivering the BEST product in all classes.

The new PE looks spectacular, a nice edition to the Spaceseat on the 77W. I believe the B777-200ER's will be updated to the same cabins as the 787.

And lastly to eminere, I think NZ has lovely uniforms :)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 784

Nine across in Y on a 787 is not the best product for that class. 

Virgin Blue - Velocity Rewards

12 May 2011

Total posts 21

Just flew on B767 which was older than I probably, but actually had good pitch and comfy headrests. Apparently the width is 17.5" which was reasonably comfortable, I'm not sure how noticeable another 3" less will be. Battle will be on for the armrests though!! 

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

You mean 0.3" right? No airline I've heard of has a 14.5" wide seat.

Ansett Global Rewards

30 Oct 2012

Total posts 16

I've always wondered why people hated CX's old business class seats (labelling it as "coffin class"), and yet are fine with the business class offerings on Virgin Atlantic and Air NZ which are extraordinarily similar...

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

Mind you, Cathay's seat was only 18.5" wide.

05 Sep 2011

Total posts 66

Cathay's old seat was narrower, not as comfortable, and had much higher walls surrounding it. Although the seat design was almost identical, it was a much more claustrophobic experience. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2012

Total posts 124

Not only are the business seats similar to CX's old business seats, but their PE seats share the same DNA as well!

The differences are that the Air New Zealand seats have a slightly better offering of a 41" pitch, as opposed to CX's 38". Also Air NZ have leather seating and leg rests that are identical to CX's PE front row seats. (As opposed the CX's hideous 'foot rests' that are basically bike pedals found in the other PE rows).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2204

lol @ bike pedals

No, you're right. They're the same sort of design, but more generously proportioned; both are similarly tasteful in design.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1204

I assume all of this is a preview of what we can expect from VA when they redo their 77Ws in the next year or so.  It is likely that NZ and VA will want to have a very similar pax experience so I'd assume all of these seat configs to move over to VA done to the 10 abreast Y class :(

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2204

That is precisely what VA needs to do. Install this product on the 77W. It's a shame they don't have enough of them, because I think they have the potential to kick off a HKG service.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

Their Y and PY products are superb (at least they look superb after the 2012 refit). All they need is to renew their hideous business class - hey, staggered seating anyone?

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

Oh, and also they can start a new A330-300 product and fly that to Hong Kong.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2204

I suppose the A330 is a viable future option for VA given it is their domestic flagship, but I'm not confident that they have a real need for it, given that their long-haul widebody international network consists of one destination, and that their domestic network does not really need an injection of more flagships (e.g. unlike QF on the golden triangle).

I think VA would probably be better off waiting for the A350.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 526

Nothing all that special then... Although interesting that they are not using the 'space' seat... I was never a fan of them. They were good in concept but really not comfortable to fly in. 

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