Singapore Airlines currently operates the B777-200ER aircraft between Singapore and Christchurch. From January 2019, the airline will operate the A350-900 aircraft between the two cities.
This presents an appreciable upgrade from the current premium seating offered on the route. The B777-200ER aircraft features the 2006 Business Class product in a 1-2-1 configuration, which is an excellent product for the flight duration. However, Singapore Airlines is in the process of renewing its fleet, and it makes perfect sense to deploy a more comfortable aircraft for this sector, which can stretch to 10 hours.
The A350-900 aircraft features the newer 2013 Business Class product, together with Premium Economy and Economy Classes. Once again, the long haul Business Class seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, providing all-aisle access for passengers. With the inclusion of Premium Economy Class, this route will have more premium options for passengers.
On a separate note, Air New Zealand has leased a B777-200ER aircraft from Singapore Airlines, which is to be deployed between Auckland and Honolulu. Specifically, 9V-SVL has been registered as ZK-OKI to allow Air New Zealand pilots and crew to operate the aircraft. The move was a result of the need to cover Air New Zealand’s B787-9 aircraft impacted by Rolls Royce engine issues. I guess passengers on this route seated in Business Class will be able to enjoy a very decent product for the period of lease.