Air New Zealand

Ironic: Qatar Airways Wants The Government To Force Their Competitor To Help Them


On Sunday, Qatar Airways inaugurated the world’s longest flight, between Doha and Auckland. At over 9,000 miles, it beat out the previous longest flight in the world, between Dubai and Auckland.

Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al Baker, is known for being incredibly outspoken. Arguably he’s the most outspoken guy in the airline industry, from claiming that Qatar Airways’ economy is as good as premium economy on other airlines, to threatening to “hang [Delta’s CEO] to the wall,” to suggesting that the carrier’s near miss in Miami was a common occurrence (and those were all during just one press conference!).

As usual, Al Baker took the inaugural flight, as he held a press conference and gala in Auckland. Well, it seems like he has had some interesting things to say while there, especially about Air New Zealand. Specifically, he’s unhappy that Air New Zealand doesn’t want to help Qatar Airways, and thinks the government should step in.

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Good Air New Zealand Business Class Award Availability!


Air New Zealand is an airline that has historically been pretty stingy with making premium cabin award seats available, at least for travel to the U.S. That probably largely has to do with the fact that they had a monopoly in the U.S. mainland to New Zealand market. Fortunately in the meantime both American and United have started service to New Zealand, so they have some competition, at last.

Last year we began to see some Air New Zealand award availability out of the U.S. for the first time in a long time, though we haven’t consistently seen space since then.

Well, at the moment Air New Zealand has a good amount of business class award availability between the U.S. and New Zealand. A majority of the space seems to be available between May and the end of September. Admittedly this is winter of New Zealand, though it can be a beautiful time to visit. I visited New Zealand in winter about a decade ago, and had an amazing time.

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Aer Lingus & Air New Zealand Are Having An Epic Twitter Battle


I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know the first thing about rugby (apparently it’s a sport?). Upon doing some research, it looks like Ireland and New Zealand recently competed against one another, and Ireland won. This was a big upset for New Zealand, as it broke their winning streak. The teams will have a rematch soon, so the stakes seem high, as New Zealand wants to prove they just had a bad day, while Ireland would of course love to beat them twice in a row to demonstrate that they’re better.

As an airline geek, the only part of this that interests me is how the airlines are reacting. And boy, are Aer Lingus and Air New Zealand having fun with this rivalry. If you haven’t yet seen it, here’s the hilarious interaction between Aer Lingus and Air New Zealand on Twitter:

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Air New Zealand Throws Shade At American’s “World’s Greatest Flyers” Campaign


A couple of weeks ago American released their newest ad campaign, with the tagline “World’s Greatest Flyers.” I found the ad campaign confusing and a bit odd on many levels.

American seems to want to make the point that both their employees and passengers are the “world’s greatest flyers,” though they don’t really show what makes American flyers better than others.

Instead the campaign seemed to be more of a PSA of sorts, telling passengers how they should behave on planes. Forbes had an article about how American’s new ad campaign is memorable for the wrong reasons, given that American’s new ad campaign says that “the world’s greatest flyers know know their mood contributes to the mood of the flight.” Not to say that can’t be true, but it does seem like an odd point to make in an ad campaign, basically suggesting that if you have a bad flight on American, it may be because of other passengers.

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Air New Zealand Drops Their Innovative Premium Economy Product


Premium economy is the hottest new airline offering of the past decade, as globally we’ve seen many airlines eliminating international first class and installing premium economy in its place. Perhaps that’s simply a reflection of how much hard products have improved, since in many cases business class is like what first class used to be, and premium economy is almost as nice as business class used to be (many years ago).

For most airlines, premium economy is very similar to what you’d find in domestic first class on a US airline. Air New Zealand perhaps has one of the most original premium economy products in the world on their 777-300ER aircraft, called the Spaceseat.

While the seat looks awesome as far as premium economy products go, it also strikes me as extremely inefficient, especially in comparison to the other premium economy products out there.

The problem was that when they originally introduced their new premium economy seat, people found the seats to be highly restrictive due to the lack of legroom. As a result, in 2011 Air New Zealand took out a row of premium economy seats on their 777s, adding up to six inches of legroom to each seat. As you can probably tell based on the 777-300ER seatmap, the current configuration is extremely inefficient.

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Air New Zealand’s New Hollywood-Themed Safety Video


Air New Zealand is hands down the most innovative airline when it comes to their safety videos. For years they’ve been refreshing their safety video several times per year, always with the intent of being as entertaining as possible.

Air New Zealand has just released their latest safety video, called “Safety In Hollywood,” starring Anna Faris and Rhys Darby. Here’s how the video is described:

“Shot at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles, Air New Zealand’s newest safety video explores multiple iconic Hollywood film locations as Rhys Darby tries to convince Anna Faris to play a role in the airline’s new in-flight safety video. Watch as the star of Mom and the New Zealand comedic legend hop from iconic set to iconic set on the Warner Bros. lot, including those used in Jurassic Park, Casablanca, War of the Worlds and True Blood:

Safety in Hollywood also features more than 20 extras, including Chester the Chihuahua, who has appeared in Transformers and Grey’s Anatomy. The video, which will be rolled out across the airline’s fleet beginning today, continues Air New Zealand’s tradition of presenting safety videos in a fun and clever way (previous safety videos featured cameos from Men In Black, The Hobbit films, Betty White, Bear Grylls and others).”

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Review: Air New Zealand Lounge Auckland

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After a couple of nights in Auckland, our Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Queenstown was departing at 2:15PM. We got to the airport at around 12:30PM, which was plenty early. At Auckland Airport, the domestic and international terminals aren’t connected.

The domestic terminal was quite crowded, though still easy to navigate.

We used one of the kiosks to get our boarding passes for the flight to Queenstown.

From there we cleared security, which was a breeze. I find that to consistently be the case for domestic terminals both in Australia and New Zealand.

We followed the signage to the Air NZ Domestic Lounge, which we had access to on account of my Star Alliance Gold status through Copa Airlines.

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A Business Class Award I’m Seeing For The First Time In Years


For the past several years, Air New Zealand has been extremely stingy when it comes to releasing premium cabin award availability to the US. To a large extent I understand why, since they’ve basically had a monopoly on the US market.

Now both American and United are launching flights to Auckland, so it should hopefully drive down prices and increase award availability (in general) between the US and New Zealand. We’ve already seen some upgrade and award availability on American to Auckland, for example.

Back in the day Air New Zealand was quite predictable with award availability. They’d be great about making business class award seats available within 60 days of departure, to the point that you could almost plan around it.

At this point, however, I don’t remember the last time I saw an Air New Zealand business class seat to/from the US mainland. It has literally been years since I’ve seen a single seat. This includes their flights from Auckland to Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as their new flight from Auckland to Houston.

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Air New Zealand’s New “Men In Black” Safety Video!


Air New Zealand is hands down the most innovative airline in the world when it comes to their safety videos. For years now they’ve been putting out several themed safety videos per year, and they’re as engaging as could be. At the moment Air New Zealand seems to be introducing a new safety video every three months.

In mid-May Air New Zealand unveiled the “Safety Safari” safety video:

And since it has been three months, they’ve just unveiled their latest safety video, entitled “Men In Black Safety Defenders:”

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Air New Zealand’s New Surfing Themed Safety Video


There’s no airline in the world as innovative when it comes to their safety videos as Air New Zealand. They’re engaging, innovative, and fresh. And I actually think they’re brilliant.

I know some people argue that safety videos shouldn’t be made entertaining, but I disagree. I think the more that airlines engage people with safety videos, the better — and that’s a good thing for safety.

Anyway, Air New Zealand has just unveiled their latest safety video, entitled Safety Safari:

Here’s how they describe the video:

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Air New Zealand Announces Auckland To Houston Flight


Since late last year, Air New Zealand has been hinting at starting a new route to North America. At the time, apparently Chicago, Houston, and Las Vegas were on the short list of cities to get service.

Well, the announcement is now official — Air New Zealand will be launching flights to Houston as of December 2015.

This will be Air New Zealand’s longest nonstop flight, and will be operated by a Boeing 777-200. While the exact schedule hasn’t yet been published, apparently the flight will be blocked at 13hr50min eastbound and 14hr30min westbound. It will operate up to 5x weekly initially, with hopes of eventually being a daily flight.

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Air New Zealand’s Hilarious 787-9 Promotional Video


Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Boeing 787-9, which began operating between Auckland and Perth as of October 15, 2014. By next month it will also be flying to Tokyo Narita and Shanghai. I’d argue Air New Zealand’s 787-9 is also the sexiest plane out there.

Anyway, Air New Zealand released a hilarious video entitled “the happiest place in the sky,” which showcases all four cabins on their new 787-9. Check it out.

Air New Zealand does a heck of a job with marketing, and clearly it goes beyond their safety videos.

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Air New Zealand’s Latest Hobbit Themed Safety Video


There’s no airline in the world as innovative when it comes to their safety video as Air New Zealand. They’re engaging, innovative, and fresh. And I actually think they’re brilliant.

I know some people argue that safety videos shouldn’t be made entertaining, but I disagree. I think the more that airlines engage people with safety videos, the better — and that’s a good thing for safety.

Anyway, Air New Zealand has just unveiled their latest safety video, entitled The Most Epic Safety Video Ever. Here’s how they describe it:

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