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Couches, cougars and contraction: Air New Zealand downsizes to survive in the jungle


Air New Zealand has unveiled its new economy-class seating concept, the “SkyCouch”, which it says will “transform international air travel” when it is introduced in Nov-2010 with the delivery of its first new B777-300ER. The new economy “couches” and increasingly controversial promotional campaigns to cut through to consumers are part of Air New Zealand’s push to differentiate itself in a highly competitive market, where network relevance and pricing advantages are being ceded to LCCs and Middle East rivals. [728 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Getting smaller by the year
  • Outlook: More premium travellers, less government support?

Graphs and data:

  • Air New Zealand raised controversy by using man-hunting female "cougars" to promote its Grabaseat domestic fares. Whatever the politically correct backlash, it has attracted attention.
  • Air New Zealand systemwide capacity (ASKs, billions): Nov-2002 to Nov-2009
  • Skycouch to “revolutionalise long-haul travel”
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