“Condé Nast Traveller Award” for the Skycouch

Award for Air New Zealand’s innovative seating concept

Schwaebisch Hall, Germany. The “Condé Nast Traveller's 2011 Innovation and Design Award” was presented for the Air New Zealand Skycouch in the category “Aviation”. Created by Air New Zealand and developed and produced by Recaro Aircraft Seating based in Schwaebisch Hall, this economy class seat received top marks in the magazine's reader’s poll.

“This award once again underscores our innovation leadership and expertise when it comes to design and product quality,” said Recaro Aircraft Seating CEO Axel Kahsnitz. “It also confirms our highly successful collaboration with Air New Zealand, the airline who created this innovation and whom we worked closely with to bring the concept to market.”

Air New Zealand Deputy CEO Norm Thompson added, “This award reinforces how revolutionary the Skycouch concept is in the commercial aviation sector. While airlines have made incremental improvements to their premium cabins over the years, no other airline has put this level of research and development effort into improving the Economy flying experience.”

Condé Nast Traveller readers, who are very experienced travellers, were impressed by the innovative seat design.

The Air New Zealand Skycouch is a combination of three seats that can be converted into a lie-flat space. The ergonomic legrests fold 90 degrees upward, creating a comfortable flat surface across the three seats. This gives passengers a place to rest on a sofa-like platform.

In 2011 Air New Zealand introduced the Skycouch option in the economy-class cabins of its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft operating between Auckland and London via Los Angeles.

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