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Air New Zealand scores an unprecedented double at ‘Oscars'

Media release

18 January 2019

Air New Zealand scores an unprecedented double at ‘Oscars of the airline industry’

Air New Zealand is the first airline in the world to scoop two awards at the Air Transport World Airline Industry Awards. The awards, which areconsidered the ‘Oscars of the airline industry’, will be presented in New York in March.

Air New Zealand has been crowned ATW Eco Airline of the Year and won the Passenger Experience Achievement award for recent upgrades to its Economy Skycouch seats.

The Eco-Airline of the Year award recognises Air New Zealand’s portfolio of sustainability work. This includes the airline’s commitment to reducing waste through its Project Green initiative, engagement with and support for regional New Zealand communities and reducing carbon emissions both within the airline’s own operations and encouraging travellers to do the same through its voluntary carbon offsetting programme, FlyNeutral.

The Passenger Experience Achievement award recognised the airline’s innovative Economy Skycouch™, a row of Economy seats that can be turned into a couch after takeoff so friends or family members can use the space to stretch out.

Skycouch has always been popular with young families and recent enhancements make family travel even easier. The changes include a dedicated infant harness enabling infants to stay lying down throughout the cruise phase of flight and a new infant pod which provides extra comfort and protection. A modification to the existing adult Skycouch Cuddle Belt means it’s now certified for two children to be able to share the Skycouch lying side by side.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says it’s fantastic the airline has been recognised both for its sustainability efforts and for making it easier for families to travel with young children.

“We’re delighted to be recognised as a corporate leader in sustainability; it’s great recognition of the efforts of our people at all levels of the organisation. We’ve made good progress, but we know we need to continue building on this momentum.

“To also be recognised for our innovation and excellence in improving the customer experience is a real honour,” says Mr Luxon.

ATW Editor-in-Chief Karen Walker says, "Air New Zealand is a remarkable, innovative and pioneering company. That spirit is illustrated in the two awards that it won, for its continued and industry-leading sustainability endeavors and for a great main-cabin product, the SkyCouch, that it made even better. Air New Zealand's leadership and people never stand still. They do not just set new standards for the airline industry, but for service industries globally."

The 45th ATW Awards will be presented on 26 March in New York.

Air New Zealand sustainability by the numbers

• 7,300 tonnes of carbon saved in the past 12 months by using electricity to power aircraft while at the gate

• Over a 12-month period 8,700 tonnes of carbon offset from Air New Zealand employee business travel

• Close to 27,000 tonnes of carbon voluntarily offset by customers in 2018 through the airline’s FlyNeutral programme

• More than 16 million individual items from on board aircraft, such as sealed beverages and unopened snacks, have been recovered for reuse or recycling rather than going to landfill through the airline’s Project Green initiative

• In 2018 the airline removed single-use plastic items from on board its aircraft and its lounges. The move is expected to save 260,000 plastic toothbrushes, 3,000 straws, 7.1 million stirrers and 260,000 eye mask wrappers from landfill

To download a broadcast quality video explaining more about Air New Zealand’s sustainability initiatives click here.

Click here to download high resolution images of the Economy Skycouch™.


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