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Current as of 26/08/16 07:39PM NZST
Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Air NZ sells 'cuddle class' seats to another airline

Ke'ala Campton Baker, left, and Tatairangi Baker sample the economy skycouch. Air NZ has now made its first sale of the idea to an unnamed Asian airline. Photo / NZPA
Ke'ala Campton Baker, left, and Tatairangi Baker sample the economy skycouch. Air NZ has now made its first sale of the idea to an unnamed Asian airline. Photo / NZPA

Air New Zealand has sold its Skycouch "cuddle class" seat to another airline two years after it was first introduced .

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

Air New Zealand says it has signed a deal licensing it an undisclosed "large airline based in Asia."

It is the first licensing agreement for the Skycouch and follows the expiry of the exclusivity period Air New Zealand adopted at the launch of the product in 2011.

The airline will fit 14 Skycouch rows to its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, the first of which it is due to start using on the Auckland-Perth route next October.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said the Skycouch stood the airline apart from other carriers.

He said the time was right to commercialise this opportunity with other international airlines.

"We're pleased to have signed this first agreement and we're continuing to talk with other airlines about further licensing agreements."

Under the confidentiality terms of the licensing agreement Air New Zealand would not name the carrier until next year.

The Skycouch is aimed at couples and families who are prepared to pay for it.

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