Air New Zealand recently announced that it has further developed its “Economy Skycouch,” introducing an infant harness and belt, allowing infants to remain lying down throughout the cruise phase of flight.
Previously infants were required to be seated on a guardian’s lap when the seatbelt sign was on. A new infant pod also provides additional comfort and protection for the airline’s youngest Skycouch customers.
Aimed at parents and guardians traveling with infants, the Economy Skycouch, a row of three Economy seats that convert into a flat, flexible surface, was first introduced in 2011.
The “Skycouch Cuddle Belt,” which was previously only certified to allow two adults or an adult and child traveling together to lie down side by side on the Skycouch, has also been updated to allow two children to use it providing greater flexibility to families.
“The Skycouch has proven to be a real game changer in the Economy cabin,” said Anita Hawthorne, Air New Zealand’s general manager of customer experience, in a written release. “While we initially marketed it to couples, we quickly found the product suited parents with young families especially well.”
Pending certification and regulatory approvals, the airline plans to make the modified Skycouch product available progressively onboard its Boeing 777 and 787-9 Dreamliner fleets in the coming months.
These improvements will also be made available to offshore airlines that Air New Zealand has licensed the Skycouch to. The airline will be displaying the updated Skycouch at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg from April 10-12.