All aircraft will be completed mid-June, with the number of seats in the cabin increasing from 18 to 36, adding 72,000 Pacific Premium Economy seats annually to the long-haul network.

"Pacific Premium Economy has been hugely popular since its introduction in 2005," says Air New Zealand Group General Manager Long Haul Airline Ed Sims.

"Air New Zealand flies further than any other airline in the world. Despite the challenging economic environment, long-haul customers clearly value the experience and are happy to pay more for the superior legroom, personal space and business class-style service."

Pacific Premium Economy has just been nominated for Conde Nast Traveller's annual Best Innovation and Design Award. In the words of judge and top UK travel writer Simon Calder: "...Air New Zealand shows kindness to the masses with its premium economy class, which is 'business-light rather than economy-plus."

Air New Zealand is further enhancing the Pacific Premium Economy experience by introducing more legroom with seat pitch increased to 41 inches (from 38 inches) and a new self-service bar area for customers travelling in premium cabins.

Customers will continue to enjoy nine inches of seat recline and business class style food and beverage service and amenities.

It is the third Pacific Premium Economy capacity increase in two years, with Air New Zealand twice increasing the number of seats available on its Boeing 747-400 aircraft, now up to 39 Pacific Premium Economy seats.

Air New Zealand introduced the 777-200ER into its fleet nearly four years ago. The aircraft operates long haul routes from Auckland including Hong Kong-London, San Francisco, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing and on selected Los Angles services.

The new 777-200ER seating configuration will be: Business Premier 26, Pacific Premium Economy 36 and Pacific Economy 242 (currently 269).

Ends

Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs, phone 09 336 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.