Kiwi travellers are about to step aboard one of Air New Zealand's ten new-look Express Class aircraft that are launched on November 1, 2002 and one of the first things they will notice is the streamlined single-class interior.
As a new era in domestic aviation begins, the new Express Class concept sees the disappearance of Business Class and the start of a low fare, one-class service.
Reconfiguring the Air New Zealand domestic fleet interiors into a single class has been a mammoth undertaking for the airline's Christchurch engineering base.
A team of 41 design and engineers have reconfigured the ten aircraft over the past two weeks - with each only being out of service for 32 hours. More than 5,000 man hours have been spent on the redesign and engineering project for Express Class.
The tight turnaround involved stripping out the existing eight Business Class seats, installing 14 new Express Class seats and laying new cabin carpet in the forward section of the aircraft.
The are now 23 seat rows onboard, up from the former 21 rows, and seat pitch has been marginally decreased from the standard 32" on the old domestic craft to between 30" and 32" with Express Class.
Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3