Air New Zealand announces new 'stretch' economy seats

Air New Zealand has announced the introduction of a new economy class product with more space and legroom.

The new product will be installed on its widebody fleet from late 2020.

Economy Stretch will offer a seat with a 35-inch pitch seat as well as in-flight amenities, a pillow and a premium headset. They will also be offered New Zealand wine and cuisine, gate-to-gate entertainment and free Wi-Fi on enabled aircraft.

Standard Economy seat pitch on Air NZ's widebody fleet starts from 31 inches, while its Premium Economy seats have a 41-inch pitch.

The airline has begun reconfiguring its Boeing long-haul fleet to make room for the new stretch seat zone which will be located at the front of the economy cabin.

Air New Zealand's Cam Wallace says the new product is a continuation of Air NZ revolutionising the economy product.

"We know one size doesn't fit all and we want customers to have a fantastic experience, whatever the cabin. Economy customers told us they want more space and comfort and we're looking forward to giving customers a new option when travelling long haul," Wallace said.

The airline will still offer Premium Economy and Business Class seats.

"While our premium cabins will remain the first choice for those wanting all the luxuries, Economy Stretch is a step-up at a competitive price, and we're confident it will appeal."

The new stretch product will be available to book form early next year.