Air New Zealand Trials New Economy Class Breakfast Options

Air New Zealand is test-driving four new economy class breakfast options on flights between Auckland and Rarotonga over a four-day window later this week. In a social media posting on Tuesday morning, the airline said it would trial the new breakfast choices on the sector between January 20 – 23.

Air New Zealand will shortly trial new economy class breakfast options on flights to and from Rarotonga. Photo: Boeing

Pain au chocolat might give Air New Zealand’s breakfast panini a run for its money

What’s Air New Zealand putting on the economy meals trays? They are trialing pain au chocolat, breakfast frittata, breakfast wrap, and muesli bowls. Air New Zealand is asking its Twitter followers to vote for their preferred choice. Naturally, the pain au chocolat has a commanding lead. After all, who doesn’t like butter-laden pastry?

Now you might ask why Air New Zealand doesn’t trial French pastries on its flights to the French territory of Tahiti? It would be a nice fit. But unfortunately, New Zealand’s hard border closure means passenger traffic on the airline’s few flights to Tahiti is thin.

However, a quarantine-free travel corridor has reopened between New Zealand and the Cook Islands five months after a coronavirus wave in New Zealand saw quarantine-free travel and regular flights to the Cook Islands paused. New Zealand resumed daily flights on Friday, January 14, using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on the 1,875 mile (3,015 kilometer) sector. By all accounts, the flights are selling well.

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The Rarotonga-bound flights push back from Auckland at 08:45 – perfect for a late breakfast. A flying time of just under four hours gives passengers plenty of time to clean up the pastry crumbs from the folds of their clothes, or maybe even ask nicely for seconds.

Timing-wise, the return flight isn’t so breakfast-friendly. NZ946 departs Rarotonga mid-afternoon for an early evening arrival into Auckland.

Short-haul international economy catering a step up on Air New Zealand’s domestic catering

While catering on Air New Zealand’s domestic flights is kind of minimalist, passengers on short-haul international flights like the services to and from Rarotonga fare slightly better.

“During every Air New Zealand (short-haul international) operated flight, complimentary tea, coffee, and water will be available to everyone. Meals and free-of-charge drinks are offered to theworks and worksdeluxe passengers. Seat and seat+bag passengers have the option of buying snacks and drinks, using a credit card,” says Air New Zealand’s website.

Like many airlines, Air New Zealand differentiates its economy class product (and charges accordingly) by the bells and whistles passengers require. Entry-level seat and seat+bag fares can slap down their Mastercard and buy a bacon and egg panini on breakfast flights and different flavours of paninis, sandwiches, and pies later in the day.

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More expensive works and worksdeluxe fares have a meal and drinks included. Those meals are similar to what Air New Zealand serves on long-haul international flights.

Short-haul international catering is a more refined affair in Air New Zealand’s premium cabins. Photo: Air New Zealand

Improved Air New Zealand short-haul international economy class breakfast options on the horizon

Of course, scoring a Dreamliner on a route usually served by Air New Zealand’s all-economy class Airbus A320s means business class and premium economy are available. There is definitely no waving of Mastercards onboard Air New Zealand in either class.

Air New Zealand says they’ve “simplified” inflight catering across its premium cabins on its short-haul international routes. However, the food and drink options on the Rarotonga Dreamliner flights should be similar to what’s seen on Air New Zealand’s Dreamliner flights to Australia.

Based on what hits the mark and misses the mark, Air New Zealand will look at rolling out one or more of their new economy class breakfast options later in the year on short-haul international flights.

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