Skip to content

Air New Zealand reveals new Boeing 787-9 business-class seat

March 30 2022
4 min read
Air New Zealand reveals new Boeing 787-9 business-class seat
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A new business-class product is headed to Air New Zealand's fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

The airline revealed in a regulatory filing this week with the U.S. Department of Transportation that it's planning to install 42 business-class seats in its 787-9s in a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring two subproducts: Business Premier and Business Premier Luxe.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG's free biweekly Aviation newsletter.

Sign up for our daily newsletter
(Screenshot from Air New Zealand)

The new configuration represents a significant increase in premium capacity for the airline. In its current configuration, the airline's 787-9 holds just 27 business-class seats in a 1-1-1 configuration. While those seats do feature direct aisle access, they are angled away from the windows in a slightly dated herringbone configuration.

Air New Zealand's current 787-9 business-class product. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The new product's Business Premier Luxe seat occupies the front of the cabin, according to the filing, which was first reported by Seth Miller at PaxEx.aero. The filing pertained to the accessibility requirements of the new seats and is intended to demonstrate how someone with limited mobility can move between an aisle wheelchair and the new seat.

The Business Premier Luxe seat is a larger version of the Business Premier seat and appears to feature a sliding door. With this new subproduct, Air New Zealand appears to be going for a cabin-within-a-cabin model that JetBlue currently uses with its larger Mint Studio that occupies the front of its transatlantic Airbus A321LR fleet. It's all but certain that Air New Zealand will charge extra for these Luxe seats.

(Photo courtesy of Air New Zealand)

Photos of the standard Business Premier seat were more limited in the filing. The seat appears similar to the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat used by airlines such as Air Canada. While not revolutionary, this seat offers a comfortable experience and is a significant upgrade from Air New Zealand's current Business Premier product.

As with any prototypical product, the final configuration of these seats may vary from the mock-ups that Air New Zealand provided to the DOT.

More: Ultra-long-haul is back: Nonstop flights between New York and New Zealand launching this fall

In a statement, Air New Zealand's Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty explained the DOT submission, and promised more to come.

"Accessibility for customers with disabilities is a big part of our enhanced aircraft offering, and as part of this, we are in the early stages of designing our new cabin layout. What we’re proposing in this submission is a concept to ensure safe access for all customers into and out of the premium seats.
This is a very early submission and as part of the process, we are required to get approval from authorities such as the US Department of Transport to ensure the seats meet the latest design and safety requirements specified. It is also the same process we went through to seek approval for the Business Premier lie-flat bed in 2013.
To date more than 80,000 design and engineering hours have gone into the new Business Premier seats, along with 18 months of customer research and testing, so by no means is this the extent of what we’re doing. When we do have confirmed details to share, we look forward to doing so. There’s more in store so stay tuned!"

This new product represents the future of long-haul for Air New Zealand, as the Star Alliance member will be retiring its entire fleet of Boeing 777s in favor of an all-787 long-haul fleet. Last week, the airline announced that it will begin 787-9 service to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) from its hub at Auckland Airport (AKL) in September, which will become one of the world's longest flights.

The exact timing of this product is unclear, though the airline asked the DOT to respond to its filling by April 29 "so that it may finalize arrangements for the installation of these seats on its B787-9 aircraft."

Featured photo by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees