The airline has signed a contract with Christchurch-based Hummingbird Coffee to serve its coffees onboard in its international Business Premier and Premium Economy cabins as well as in its airport lounges.
The airline conducted extensive tastings of various brands of coffee, including blind tastings with customers at altitude and with external coffee experts both on the ground and in the air, eventually working with Hummingbird to create a bespoke blend for its customers.
Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience Anita Hawthorne says showcasing Kiwi products in the customer experience is a key way the airline can supercharge New Zealand’s success from an economic perspective, an important pillar of its sustainability framework.
“Not only is our partnership with Hummingbird improving the quality of coffee onboard for customers, importantly we are also helping to showcase a great Kiwi brand all over the globe and helping to improve grower livelihoods and environmental impacts.”
Hummingbird Coffee has been roasting coffee in Christchurch for almost 30 years and was one of the first companies to directly import fair trade organic coffees into New Zealand in 2002.
Air New Zealand’s customers have demonstrated a clear love of coffee. The airline’s popular coffee ordering feature on its mobile app remembers orders and offers a cup to lounge eligible customers upon entering certain Air New Zealand lounges. It then notifies the customer when their order is ready to be collected from the barista. The app has proven to be extremely popular with customers since its introduction with more than 2.8 million orders placed to date.
Hummingbird Coffee will be available onboard Air New Zealand flights and in its lounges from later this month.
In another move to improve the sustainability of its inflight service, Air New Zealand has also introduced a new programme to recycle paper coffee cups used onboard domestic jet services which is expected to divert 60 tonnes of cups from landfill yearly. Previously there has not been access to a recycling plant able to process at the scale the airline requires, however a new facility in Auckland is helping to change that.