Air New Zealand is to spend more than £55m increasing the number of premium seats on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and refurbishing its Boeing 777-300 fleet, which operates from Heathrow.

Noting the increasing demand for premium travel from its customers, the three Dreamliners scheduled to be delivered from October 2017 will arrive with a fresh new cabin configuration that will increase the number of Business Premier seats from 18 to 27 and Premium Economy seats from 21 to 33.

From February 2017, all seven of the airline’s Boeing 777-300s will also progressively complete a refurbishment programme, including the installation of the Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system and refreshed seating options.

Each of the interiors will be completely refurbished as part of the project and the aircraft will feature refreshed Business Premier and Economy seats as well as the airline’s luxury leather Premium Economy seat which debuted on the 787-9 Dreamliner in July 2014. These will replace the Spaceseat and take the number of Premium Economy seats on this aircraft from 44 to 54.

The refurbishment programme is expected to be completed by late November 2017.

Carrie Hurihanganui, the airline’s general manager for customer experience, commented: “When we unveiled the Spaceseat in 2010, it was revolutionary and clearly the best option in the market at the time, as a string of international awards has proven. However, seating technology and materials have come a long way since then and our customer research now shows consistently higher satisfaction scores for our newest Premium Economy offering so it’s time to continue Air New Zealand’s evolution in this space. With these changes, we look forward to being able to offer our customers a consistent Premium Economy product across our long haul fleet and being able to welcome even more customers into our premium cabins with the expanded premium footprint on our Dreamliners.”

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