Stretch zones, extra legroom: Air New Zealand to launch new 'Economy Stretch' seats on long haul flights

Air New Zealand has announced it is going to help ease the strain of long distance flights in economy with some extra legroom and perks on long-haul flights.

The national carrier is reconfiguring its Boeing 777-200, 777-300 and 787-9 to give customers more "comfort-led enhancement".

For a cost, the economy seat will have a bigger 35-inch pitch seat (up from the current 31 inches) and amenities such as a premium headset and plush pillow.

There will also be "stretch zones" at the front of the economy cabin.

Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace says the airline realises that "one size doesn't fit all".

"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.

"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 cost of the seat hasn't been revealed yet, but it will be available for purchase from early next year and will be offered on all Air New Zealand operated long-haul flights from late 2020.

See also: Flight test: Air New Zealand economy

See also: Airline review: Premium economy but you can still get stuck in a middle seat