Air New Zealand passengers will be able to use their handheld portable electronic devices in non-transmitting mode for the entire duration of their flights from July 16 after approval was granted by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.
The airline says it will allow the use of tablets, smartphones, e-readers and mp3 players during all phases of flight, provided the devices remain in flight mode. Previously all these devices had to be switched off during taxi, take-off and landing.
The option will initially be available on domestic and international services operated by Airbus A320, Boeing 787-9, 777-200ER and 777-300ER aircraft, while the airline plans to expand to its Boeing 767-300ER and regional turboprop fleets at a later date.
“We are living in a digital age where the majority of our customers use electronic devices while travelling,” Air New Zealand’s General Manager Customer Experience Carrie Hurihanganui said in a statement. “Today’s announcement will give customers further freedom to use their handheld devices to take photos, listen to music or watch pre-loaded movies gate to gate.
“Air New Zealand prides itself on being a leader in innovation and technology and continues to actively explore what can be done to make the travel experience easier and more enjoyable for our customers.”