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Air New Zealand has unveiled a new economy product with additional legroom on its B777 aircraft.

The ‘Economy Stretch’ seats are located in the first four rows of the cabin, with 42 seats offering up to 39 per cent more legroom than the standard economy seat and 35-inch seat pitch (rather than 31 inches in standard).

Costing an extra NZD$175 for a one-way trip, the product is a revamp of the current economy seat with “sculptured upholstery” and a flexible headrest. Passengers will also benefit from upgraded headsets and a pillow designed for long-haul travel.  free advanced seat selection and early disembarkation.

The product will debut on the Auckland-Los Angeles route, operated by a B777-300, from February 27, though the airline hopes to introduce the product on its Houston route “as part of phase two”.

Air New Zealand Economy Stretch product (supplied by Air NZ)

Chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty commented:

“Customers have told us they want more room to relax, and at a competitive price. Economy Stretch answers this challenge, with some luxury for the legs all while enjoying our renowned in-flight service, Kiwi cuisine and wine, and seat-back entertainment.

“Through innovations such as the Economy Skycouch and with Economy Skynest launching later next year, Air New Zealand continues to push boundaries in Economy travel.

“The Economy cabin welcomes the most diverse group of travellers. The introduction of Economy Stretch means we are providing more choice for customers at an Economy price point that will meet the needs of families, solo travellers, as well as those just looking for that little bit extra of extra comfort.”

Air New Zealand Economy Stretch product (supplied by Air NZ)

This product will join the carrier’s existing economy and economy Skycouch product, with the latter introduced in 2010 as a “lie-flat” product for couples and families.

Looking forward, the carrier plans to unveil the “world’s first sleep pods” in economy class, known as Skynest, on its Dreamliner aircraft in 2024.

Air New Zealand to launch economy sleep pods and upgraded business class in 2024