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Air New Zealand – a Year in the Air

July 1, 2019 Aviation No Comments Email Email

Air New Zealand customers in the United Kingdom are more than twice as likely to offset the carbon impact of their flights than those based in New Zealand or Australia.

This insight is one of the many gleaned through Air New Zealand’s analysis of customer behavior during the 2019 financial year, with its data revealing views on all aspects of flying – from carbon and connectivity, through to travellers’ favourite inflight drinks and meals.

In the past year more Air New Zealand customers around the world chose to fly carbon neutral, offsetting more than 174,400 trips – or 50,000 tonnes of carbon – up 34.5 percent on the year prior.

Kiwis offset 4.6 percent of journeys booked online, but as Air New Zealand rolled out its FlyNeutral programme offshore, those travelling the farthest to visit New Zealand are proving most likely to offset their flying footprint:

Percentage of journeys offset
United Kingdom 9.7
United States 7.2
Canada 6.0
Australia 4.2

Air New Zealand operated more than 190,000 flights in the past year. Its customers collectively flew 37.4 billion kilometres and earned 101.5 million Airpoints Dollars™ along the way. The airline’s most travelled customer clocked up 522,602 kilometres in the air.

Savvy Kiwi shoppers snapped up more than 100,000 seats in a day when Air New Zealand announced domestic fare reductions of up to 50 percent on 26 February 2019.

A team of 2,000 chefs and culinary specialists in 24 locations prepared the 6.3 million inflight meals Air New Zealand served globally, and since 1 July 2018:

  • Beef trumped the chicken as the most popular choice in Economy with 283,400 portions of New Zealand beef osso bucco with caramelised onion served, surpassing the next most requested meal: chicken tagine.
  • Customers enjoyed 1.6 million New Zealand beef and lamb dishes.
  • Business Premier customers on NZ1 and NZ5 from Los Angeles to Auckland became the first to try the plant-based Impossible Burger inflight, with the airline plating around 7,000 Impossible Burger patties and 4,200 Impossible Burger sliders over the year.
  • More than 960,000 ice creams and 900,000 portions of New Zealand cheese were served on international flights departing New Zealand.
  • Peter Gordon’s hapuka in light turmeric and fresh curry leaf sauce with petit pois and steamed lemongrass rice and his roasted chicken marbella on creamed corn and polenta were the most popular dishes in the airline’s premium cabins.
  • The airline prepared 45,000 appetisers featuring Ngāti Porou’s Ahia smoked fish, giving travellers a taste of New Zealand’s Tairāwhiti region.
  • Close to 5.8 million glasses of exclusively New Zealand wines were poured, with pinot noir eclipsing last year’s top tipple sauvignon blanc as the preferred drop.
  • Baristas brewed 1.2 million cups of coffee in the airline’s lounges, with almost half the orders placed via the coffee feature on Air New Zealand’s mobile app. The flat white remained customers’ top choice at 45 percent of all orders with the long black and latte in distant second, both at 12.7 percent.
  • The caffeine obsession continued onboard with 5.8 million cups of coffee and 5.2 million cups of tea served inflight.

It was a kind of magic for the most watched film onboard, Bohemian Rhapsody, seen 162,215 times in the past year. The Beatles still pipped Queen as the most popular artist, attracting 606,773 hits. Customers also spent three million minutes nodding away to the airline’s sleep playlist.

Customers spent thousands of hours connected to Air New Zealand’s free inflight Wi-Fi. Flight NZ1 from London to Los Angeles on 15 March – the date of the Christchurch shooting tragedy – had the highest Wi-Fi uptake in the past year, suggesting the ability to stay in touch with loved ones at stressful times is important to travellers.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Marketing and Customer Officer, Mike Tod, says understanding customer trends keeps the airline ahead of the pack and even more connected and personalised experiences are in the pipeline.

“Paying close attention to feedback ensures we’re delivering what customers really want. Right now every aspect of our onboard experience is under the microscope as we design the future cabin experience for our new long-haul fleet.

“Air New Zealand’s warm Kiwi service has set the standard for airlines globally. Key to the product development underway at our Hangar 22 innovation centre in Auckland is scoping the technology, dining and entertainment options we’ll take forward to our new aircraft.”

Last month Air New Zealand announced the purchase of eight Boeing 787-10 aircraft to replace its 777-200 fleet. The first aircraft is expected to arrive from late 2022 and will be fitted with new Business Premier, Premium Economy and Economy cabins incorporating design outputs from Hangar 22.

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