Flying With the Simpsons: An Award Winning Research Paper That Helped Air New Zealand Reinvent the Long Haul Air Travel

Horst Feldhaeuser
Synovate Ltd, New Zealand

Hudson Smales
Air New Zealand, New Zealand


This paper is based on a large, multifaceted, multidisciplinary, collaborative research project that is demonstrably world-class in its purpose, inception and execution - and with great outcomes.

Whilst a substantial financial commitment, a new interior long-haul design not only strengthens Air New Zealand’s competitive advantage, but both the unique Skycouch and Premium Economy Spaceseat and their respective license opportunities also provide a potential new revenue stream.

The paper will take you through the journey of this collaborative and iterative team-based process.


From the outside, the building is hardly worth a second glance. Perhaps it is a small warehouse or some up-and-coming wholesaler, although no signs or markings provide a hint.