Air New Zealand offering business class seats for $50 surcharge on domestic routes

The airline is using larger aircraft on its Christchurch - Auckland route
The airline is using larger aircraft on its Christchurch - Auckland route Photo credit: Air New Zealand

Passengers travelling between Auckland and Christchurch may be in for a treat, as Air New Zealand deploys some of its larger international aircraft on the route.

Air NZ has been using some of its Boeing 787-9s as well as its international Airbus A320s and A321s on the domestic route as passenger numbers are up, and international services are out of operation.

The journey would usually be serviced by one of Air NZ's A320s configured for domestic travel. The aircraft has 171 seats and doesn't have any onboard entertainment.

The international version of the A320 has 168 seats as well as full on-board entertainment options.

Spot the difference:

A320 Economy seats.
A320 Economy seats. Photo credit: Air New Zealand

Airbus A320D

This is your standard domestic A320 seat that is fitted into all of Air New Zealand's A320s intended for domestic use. There's no entertainment (apart from the quiz). There are only economy seats available.

Airbus A321 Economy class.
Airbus A321 Economy class. Photo credit: Air New Zealand

Airbus A320I/A321

This is similar to the A320D, but as it operates on routes such as to Australia and the Pacific, hence the "I" for international. Again, only economy class on this aircraft, but it does have inflight entertainment installed. Remember to bring your own headphones as the airline won't provide any. 

Boeing 787-9 Business class.
Boeing 787-9 Business class. Photo credit: Air New Zealand

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

This is one of the largest aircraft in the Air NZ fleet, so you're likely to notice as soon as you board that you're on a rather special aircraft.

There are 21 Premium Economy seats onboard, which are free to any of Air NZ's Elite, Gold, Elite Partner and Koru members free of charge.

There's the full in-flight entertainment system, but again you'll need your own headphones.

And, right up front are the 18 flatbed Business Premier seats which can be purchased for an additional $50.

Food and beverage options remain the same.
Food and beverage options remain the same. Photo credit: Newshub.

But, don't be expecting any champagne and caviar.  The food and drink options will be exactly the same as usual. Tea, coffee and cassava crisps.

Although the flight is short, Air NZ will be hoping travellers get a taste for what's up at the front of the aircraft and consider an upgrade when international flying returns.

"We hope our customers will enjoy the opportunity to try out our Business Premier and Premium Economy seat for this short flight," an airline spokesperson said.