Air New Zealand's new Business Premier class

There's no question Air New Zealand is winning the branding wars in true Kiwi style, claiming the mantle of "the fun airline" for both wit and innovation. Left-of-centre ideas like their economy "skycouch" (in which three seats in coach convert to a flatbed), and the recent Tolkien-themed safety video (replete with hobbits, wizards and cameos from Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson) have scored the airline plenty of press and even more buzz on social media. Now, though, it's also making a push on the comfort and service side, especially in the pointy end of the plane.

The airline's new Business Premier class, currently on show in its Dreamliner 787-9 aircraft plying the Auckland to Perth route, has upped the stakes considerably. The leather-upholstered seats are angled diagonally down the cabin, each of them with a little footstool that can be used for an in-flight tête-à-tête with a fellow passenger. They fold fully flat, and are equipped with a memory-foam mattress and good bedding.

The menus, designed in part by expat New Zealand chef Peter Gordon, lean towards the likes of chicken with grilled pineapple, and chicory salad with a mango-yoghurt dressing. The entertainment system, meanwhile, is one of the best in the sky right now. In terms of look and feel, it's fast and responsive, and the selection is both large and smart. There are eight Batmans, eight Harry Potters, five X-Men and, bizarrely, three Blades, but also several Coen productions and plenty in the way of Gone with the Wind, Empire of the Sun and the latest seasons of True Blood, The Knick and Penny Dreadful. Oh, and naturally, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, plus Once Were Warriors and the Footrot Flats movie. (One bum note: sections labelled Chick Flicks and Man Cave. Groan.)

The crew are a delight, right down to, on one leg, the pilot closing his landing spiel with "What a cracker of a day! We recommend you get down to the beach". They're also loving the new cabins. "Yes, we love working on the Dreamliners because our passengers are so enthusiastic about them," said Deb, the in-flight manager on our trip. Count us among them.

Air New Zealand's Dreamliner started servicing the airline's Auckland-Shanghai route this month and will start the Auckland-Tokyo route from December 2014. 


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
World view: Weligama Bay, Sri Lanka
24.10.2017
Welsh summer cabins inspired by myths and legends
20.10.2017
Three of the best ski lodges in Colorado
17.10.2017
Travel tips from an architect: Kristen Whittle
29.08.2017
Local knowledge: Glasgow
29.08.2017
Bush Tucker Journeys at Uluru
21.08.2017
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Expert tips for air travel with Jo Horgan

Founder and co-CEO of Mecca Brands Jo Horgan shares her trav...

Wine on tap in Copenhagen

Wine bars don’t often win art prizes for “beautifying the ci...

Grand Budapest wine revival

The latest crop of Hungarian winemakers has sparked a new fo...

Etihad's private cabin

Cabins with proper beds and butlers feature in Etihad’s plan...

Julia Morris on Bellapais, Cyprus

On a stay in Bellapais, actress Julia Morris basked in the h...

Cathay Pacific's new airport lounges

Lounge design needs to satisfy loners and more sociable crea...

Qantas reveals new A330 business suites

Qantas has unveiled new business-class seating and the big w...

Baest, Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s Bæst offers diners a truly hands-on experience.

Qantas business class amenity kits get an upgrade

Qantas reveals its brand-new business class amenity kits...

Qantas upgrades its economy-class dining

The airline promises bigger portions and greater choice in t...

Specialist travel agents

When it comes to booking travel, aren’t we flying solo now? ...