Air New Zealand to offer world's first economy class bed-seat by end of 2010

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Wellington, Jan 27 (ANI): By the end of 2010, Air New Zealand will offer the world's first economy class bed-seat on its long haul services.

However, you might just have to share it with your neighbour.

The "Skycouch" combines a row of three seats along the window sides of the aircraft, which can be configured into a bed just wide enough for two people lying on their side.

Chief executive Rob Fyfe has said that when the airline takes delivery of its first of eight new Boeing 777-300ER jets in November it will redefine long haul travel and set a benchmark.

"For those who choose, the days of sitting in economy and yearning to lie down and sleep are gone," quoted Fyfe as saying.

"The dream is now a reality, one that you can even share with a travelling companion - just keep your clothes on thanks," he added.

The airline has also improved seats in premium economy and business class have also been improved, and in-flight service will take a step back towards the golden age of air travel with meals and snacks freshly cooked on-board.

The Skycouch is targeted at couples and families, who can afford to spend about 1100 dollars extra to buy the middle seat in the row of three.

It has been developed in-house by Air New Zealand designers and engineers, and represents the first real improvement in comfort for economy travellers in more than 20 years.

Head of long haul services Ed Sims said the seats had "the potential to generate significant license fees for Air New Zealand in the future". (ANI)

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