Air New Zealand to trial translation technology

Google technology could allow passenger service staff to receive live translation of 40 languages

Air New Zealand is trying technology that helps staff members understand many different languages.

The airline is trying how Google’s wireless Bluetooth Pixel Buds headphones and Pixel mobiles will be helpful to the airline and its passengers.

Like most airlines, Air New Zealand has multi-lingual employees but there are times when the relevant language speaker may not be on hand and technology could then help.

The technology could allow passenger service staff to receive live translation of 40 languages.

Avi Golan, Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer:

“We operate to 30 international destinations and our customers speak an even more diverse range of languages. Google’s Pixel Buds could assist in areas such as check-in and boarding as well as inflight to help our staff communicate effectively with international customers.

“Both Air New Zealand and Google put people and technology at the heart of their products and experiences and it’s been excellent exploring how translation technology like Google’s Pixel Buds could enhance our customer experience.


Air New Zealand is one the airlines leading the digital charge.

It’s experimentation with Google Pixel Buds follows on from other initiatives this year involving Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Social Robotics.

About Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is the national airline of New Zealand and is based in Auckland.

Routes: Air New Zealand operates to 22 domestic and 29 international destinations in 16 countries around the Pacific rim (within New Zealand, Australia, the South West Pacific, Asia, North America) and the United Kingdom.

Fleet: Air New Zealand operates a fleet of 103 aircraft in total, with 31 more on order. The average age of the fleet is just over 7 years.

The fleet is a mixture of Airbus, Boeing, Aerospatiale and Bombardier.

  • 30 Airbus A320
  • 15 Boeing 777
  • 9 Boeing 787-9 (4 more on order)
  • 26 Aerospatiale ATR 72 (13 more on order)
  • 23 Bombardier Q300

It also has 13 Airbus A320/A321 NEO on order.

The Boeings operate the long haul routes, the others are for domestic and short-haul.

Numbers: About 14 million passengers a year.

Alliance: StarAlliance

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Air New Zealand (NZ)