Air New Zealand Group General Manager Network Marketing and Sales, Norm Thompson said the airline was delighted to receive the award.

"Receiving a World Travel Award is viewed by the travel industry community as one of the best endorsements of any travel product – and winning the Business Class Airline award is particularly pleasing given that the travel industry voting for this preceded the upgrade of our business class product," said Mr Thompson.

"Our people and the quality of in-flight service they provide has clearly contributed significantly to Air New Zealand winning this award," he said.

Air New Zealand's new long haul Business Premier product was revealed in July with the first of eight retrofitted B747 aircraft commencing service. The interior of the new B777 aircraft mirrors that of the B747 and includes mood lighting throughout the premium cabins.

The innovative seating design in Business Premier includes a comfortable, 22" wide leather armchair that converts into a 6ft 7.5" (2.02m) bed, the longest available in business class today. The seats also make Air New Zealand the only airline to currently offer a truly lie-flat bed at a business class price into and out of New Zealand. Other features include an ottoman footrest that doubles as a visitor's seat, in-seat power, a high resolution 10.4" screen to view the on-demand digital entertainment system and active noise-cancellation headsets.

The Business Premier meal service features New Zealand's finest natural produce with new look crockery and cutlery.

Editors Note:
The World Travel Awards were established in 1993 to acknowledge and celebrate achievers in all sectors of the travel industry and voting is undertaken by travel agencies in 200 countries. Regional geographical categories are broken down from the Whole World category into eight smaller areas - Africa, Asia/Pacific, Caribbean, Central & Latin America, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America. These are then further divided into all areas of the travel industry including airlines.
Refer www.worldtravelawards.com

ENDS

Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 9 336 2761

NOTE: The content of all Air New Zealand media releases are accurate at the time of issue, as stated at the top of each release. For updates on any changes, please contact Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.