Air New Zealand

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Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded26 April 1940;78 years ago (26 April 1940) (as TEAL) [1]
Commenced operations1 April 1965
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Airpoints
Alliance Star Alliance
Subsidiaries Air New Zealand Link
Fleet size 65 (excl. subsidiaries)
Destinations 51 (incl. subsidiaries)
Parent company New Zealand Government (53%) [2]
Traded as NZX: AIR
Headquarters Wynyard Quarter, Auckland City, New Zealand [3]
Key people
Revenue Increase2.svg NZ$5,231 million (2016) [5]
Operating income Increase2.svg NZ$1,542 million (2016) [5]
Profit Increase2.svg NZ$463 million (2016) [5]
Total assets Increase2.svg NZ$7,251 million (2016) [5]
Total equity Increase2.svg NZ$2,108 million (2016) [5]
Employees10,527 (June, 2016)

Air New Zealand Limited (NZX : AIR) is the flag carrier airline of New Zealand. Based in Auckland, the airline operates scheduled passenger flights to 20 domestic and 31 international destinations in 19 countries around the Pacific Rim and the United Kingdom. [6] The airline has been a member of the Star Alliance since 1999. [7]

NZX is at its core a markets business operating equity, debt, derivatives and energy markets. To support the development of its core markets, they provide trading, clearing, settlement, depository and data services. To ensure they are well connected to New Zealand investors, NZX owns Smartshares, New Zealand's only issuer of Exchange Traded Funds, and KiwiSaver provider Superlife.

A flag carrier is a transportation company, such as an airline or shipping company, that, being locally registered in a given sovereign state, enjoys preferential rights or privileges accorded by the government for international operations. The term also refers to any carrier that is or was owned by a government, even long after their privatization when preferential rights or privileges continue.

Auckland Metropolitan area in North Island, New Zealand

Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. Auckland is the largest urban area in the country, with an urban population of around 1,628,900. It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. A diverse and multicultural city, Auckland is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. The Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions.


Air New Zealand originated in 1940 as Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), a company operating trans-Tasman flights between New Zealand and Australia. TEAL became wholly owned by the New Zealand government in 1965, whereupon it was renamed Air New Zealand. The airline served international routes until 1978, when the government merged it and the domestic New Zealand National Airways Corporation (NAC) into a single airline under the Air New Zealand name. Air New Zealand was privatised in 1989, but returned to majority government ownership in 2001 after near bankruptcy due to a failed tie up with Australian carrier Ansett Australia. In the 2017 financial year to June, Air New Zealand carried 15.95 million passengers. [8]


Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL) was the forerunner of Air New Zealand.

Trans-Tasman is an adjective used primarily in Australia and New Zealand, which signifies an interrelationship between both countries. Its name originates from the Tasman Sea which lies between the two countries. For example, Trans-Tasman commerce would refer to commerce between these two countries.

New Zealand National Airways Corporation, popularly known as NAC, was the national domestic airline of New Zealand from 1947 until 1978 when it amalgamated with New Zealand's international airline, Air New Zealand. The airline was headquartered in Wellington.

Air New Zealand's route network focuses on Australasia and the South Pacific, with long-haul services to eastern Asia, the Americas and the United Kingdom. It was the last airline to circumnavigate the world with flights to Heathrow via both Los Angeles and via Hong Kong. The latter ended in March 2013 when Air New Zealand stopped Hong Kong – London flights, in favour of a codeshare agreement with Cathay Pacific. [9] [10] The airline's main hub is Auckland Airport, located near Mangere in the southern part of the Auckland urban area. [11] Air New Zealand is headquartered in a building called "The Hub", located 20 km (12 mi) from Auckland Airport, in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter. [12]

Australasia region of Oceania

Australasia comprises Australia, New Zealand, and some neighbouring islands. It is used in a number of different contexts including geopolitically, physiographically, and ecologically where the term covers several slightly different but related regions.

Oceania geographic region comprising Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia

Oceania is a geographic region comprising Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the eastern and western hemispheres, Oceania covers an area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and has a population of 40 million. Situated in the southeast of the Asia-Pacific region, Oceania, when compared to continental regions, is the smallest in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.

Heathrow Airport major international airport serving London, England, United Kingdom

Heathrow Airport, also known as London Heathrow, is a major international airport in London, United Kingdom. Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic, as well as the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and the seventh busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic. It is one of six international airports serving Greater London. In 2018, it handled a record 80.1 million passengers, a 2.7% increase from 2017 as well as 480,339 aircraft movements, a 4,715 increase from 2017.

Air New Zealand currently operates a fleet of Airbus A320, Airbus A320neo family, Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 aircraft. Air New Zealand's regional subsidiaries, Air Nelson and Mount Cook Airline, operate additional domestic services using turboprop aircraft. Air New Zealand was awarded Airline of the Year in 2010 [13] and 2012 [14] by the Air Transport World Global Airline Awards. In 2014, Air New Zealand was ranked the safest airline in the world by JACDEC. [15]

Airbus A320 family Airliner family

The Airbus A320 family consists of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger twin-engine jet airliners manufactured by Airbus. The family includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, as well as the ACJ business jet. The A320s are also named A320ceo following the introduction of the A320neo. The aircraft family can accommodate up to 236 passengers and has a range of 3,100 to 12,000 km, depending on model.

Airbus A320neo family Airliner, series of improvements across the A320 family

The Airbus A320neo family is a development of the A320 family of narrow-body airliners produced by Airbus. The original family has been renamed A320ceo, for current engine option. Launched on 1 December 2010, it made its first flight on 25 September 2014 and it was introduced by Lufthansa on 25 January 2016. Re-engined with CFM International LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines and with large sharklets, it should be 15% more fuel efficient. The A320neo family is based on the previous A319, A320 and A321. As of February 2019, Airbus has received 6,501 orders and delivered 687 aircraft.

Boeing 777 Wide-body long-range twin-engine jet airliner family

The Boeing 777 is a long-range wide-body twin-engine jet airliner developed and manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and has a typical seating capacity of 314 to 396 passengers, with a range of 5,240 to 8,555 nautical miles. Commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven", its distinguishing features include the large–diameter turbofan engines, long raked wings, six wheels on each main landing gear, fully circular fuselage cross-section, and a blade-shaped tail cone. Developed in consultation with eight major airlines, the 777 was designed to replace older wide-body airliners and bridge the capacity difference between Boeing's 767 and 747. As Boeing's first fly-by-wire airliner, it has computer-mediated controls. It was also the first commercial aircraft to be designed entirely with computer-aided design.


A Douglas DC-8 at Sydney Airport in the early 1970s. Air New Zealand was an early operator of the DC-8. Note the pre-1973 livery with the Southern Cross on the tail. Air New Zealand Douglas DC-8 SYD Wheatley.jpg
A Douglas DC-8 at Sydney Airport in the early 1970s. Air New Zealand was an early operator of the DC-8. Note the pre-1973 livery with the Southern Cross on the tail.
An Air New Zealand McDonnell Douglas DC-10 in 1977. DC-10 deliveries began in 1973 and they introduced a new colour scheme, being the first of the airline's aircraft to feature the now-ubiquitous koru logo. Air New Zealand DC-10 (6221950359).jpg
An Air New Zealand McDonnell Douglas DC-10 in 1977. DC-10 deliveries began in 1973 and they introduced a new colour scheme, being the first of the airline's aircraft to feature the now-ubiquitous koru logo.

Air New Zealand began as TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited) in 1940, operating Short Empire flying boats on trans-Tasman routes. Following World War II, TEAL operated weekly flights from Auckland to Sydney, and added Wellington and Fiji to its routings. The New Zealand and Australian governments purchased 50% stakes in TEAL in 1953, [16] and the airline ended flying boat operations in favour of land-based turboprop airliners by 1960. In 1965, TEAL became Air New Zealand—the New Zealand government having purchased Australia's 50% stake in the carrier. [16]

Short Empire flying boat

The Short Empire was a medium-range four-engined monoplane flying boat, designed and developed by Short Brothers during the 1930s to meet the requirements of the growing commercial airline sector, with a particular emphasis upon its usefulness upon the then-core routes that served the United Kingdom. It was developed and manufactured in parallel with the Short Sunderland maritime patrol bomber, which went on to serve in the Second World War; a further derivative that was later developed was the piggy-back Short Mayo Composite.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Sydney City in New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

With the increased range of the Douglas DC-8s the airline's first jet aircraft, Air New Zealand began transpacific services to the United States and Asia with Los Angeles and Honolulu added as destinations in 1965. The airline further acquired wide-body McDonnell Douglas DC-10 airliners in 1973. The DC-10s introduced the new koru-inspired logo for the airline, which remains to this day.

Douglas DC-8 jet airliner family, one of the first successful jet airliners along with the Boeing 707

The Douglas DC-8 is an American four-engine mid- to long-range narrow-body jet airliner built from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Launched after the competing Boeing 707, the DC-8 nevertheless kept Douglas in a strong position in the airliner market, and remained in production until 1972 when it began to be superseded by larger wide-body designs, including the Boeing 747, McDonnell Douglas DC-10, and Lockheed L-1011 TriStar. The DC-8's design allowed it a slightly larger cargo capacity than the 707 and some re-engined DC-8s are still in use as freighters.

McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Wide-body tri-jet airliner

The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is an American three-engine wide-body jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. It has two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabilizer. The DC-10 was intended as a successor to the company's DC-8 for medium- to long range flights, using a larger capacity wide-body layout with seating up to 380 and more powerful engines. Lockheed also saw this niche as an ideal place to reenter the commercial airliner market with their very similar L-1011 TriStar. Although the L-1011 was more technologically advanced, the DC-10 would go on to outsell the L-1011 by a significant margin due to the DC-10's lower price and earlier entry into the market.


The koru is a spiral shape based on the appearance of a new unfurling silver fern frond. It is an integral symbol in Māori art, carving and tattooing, where it symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace. Its shape "conveys the idea of perpetual movement," while the inner coil "suggests returning to the point of origin".

In 1978, the domestic airline National Airways Corporation (NAC) and its subsidiary Safe Air were merged into Air New Zealand to form a single national airline, further expanding the carrier's operations. As a result, NAC's Boeing 737 and Fokker F27 aircraft joined Air New Zealand's fleet alongside its DC-8 and DC-10 airliners. The merger also resulted in the airline having two IATA airline designators: TE from Air New Zealand and NZ from NAC. TE continued to be used for international flights and NZ for domestic flights until 1990, when international flights assumed the NZ code. [16]

In 1981, Air New Zealand introduced its first Boeing 747 airliner, and a year later initiated service to London via Los Angeles. The five 747-200s owned by Air New Zealand were all named after ancestral Maori canoes. 1985 saw the introduction of Boeing 767-200ER airliners to fill the large size gap between the Boeing 737 and 747 (the DC-8 and DC-10 had been withdrawn by 1983). In 1989 the airline was privatised with a sale to a consortium headed by Brierley Investments Ltd. [16] (with remaining stakes held by Qantas, Japan Airlines, American Airlines, and the New Zealand government). The New Zealand air transport market underwent deregulation in 1990, prompting Air New Zealand to acquire a 50% stake in Ansett Australia in 1995.

In March 1999, Air New Zealand became a member of the Star Alliance. From 1999 through 2000, Air New Zealand became embroiled in an ownership battle over Ansett with co-owner News Limited over a possible sale of the under-performing carrier to Singapore Airlines. [17]

Merger with Ansett

In 2000, Air New Zealand announced that it had chosen instead to acquire the entirety of Ansett Australia (increasing its 50% stake in the carrier to 100%) for A$680 million from News Corporation Ltd. Business commentators [18] [19] believe this to have been a critical mistake, as Ansett's fleet, staffing levels and infrastructure far outweighed that of Air New Zealand. Subsequently, both carriers' profitability came under question, and foreign offers to purchase the Air New Zealand Group were considered. In September 2001, plagued by costs it could not possibly afford, the Air New Zealand / Ansett Group neared collapse. A failed attempt at purchasing Virgin Blue was the final straw, and on 12 September, out of both time and cash, Air New Zealand placed Ansett Australia into voluntary administration, following which Ansett was forced to cease operations. Air New Zealand announced a NZ$1.425 billion operating loss. [16]

21st century

Air New Zealand added the Boeing 777 to its fleet in 2004. As of 2014, the 777-200ER and the larger -300ER formed the core of the airline's long-haul fleet. ZK-OKA Boeing 777-219(ER) Air New Zealand (6602001405).jpg
Air New Zealand added the Boeing 777 to its fleet in 2004. As of 2014, the 777-200ER and the larger -300ER formed the core of the airline's long-haul fleet.

In October 2001, Air New Zealand was re-nationalised under a New Zealand government NZ$885 million rescue plan (with the government taking an 82% stake), and subsequently received new leadership. [20] This act was the only thing that spared Air New Zealand from going into administration and likely grounding.

In 2002, Air New Zealand reconfigured its domestic operations under a low-cost airline business plan, and the New Zealand government weighed (and later refused) a proposal from Qantas to purchase a one-fifth stake in the carrier. Air New Zealand returned to profitability in 2003, reporting a net profit of $NZ165.7 million for that year. The carrier saw increasing profits through 2004 and 2005. [16] In 2004, the airline announced a comprehensive relaunch of its long-haul product, featuring the introduction of new seats in its business, premium economy, and economy class cabins.

In 2003, Air New Zealand added the Airbus A320 airliner to its fleet for use on short-haul international flights. In 2005, the airline received its first Boeing 777 aircraft (–200ER variant), and placed orders for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 2004. The airline later was announced as the launch customer for the -9 variant of the 787. [21]

On 21 December 2010, the New Zealand government approved an alliance between Air New Zealand and Australian airline Virgin Blue (now named Virgin Australia), which allowed both airlines to expand operations between Australia and New Zealand with codeshares for trans-Tasman and connecting domestic flights; and reciprocal access to frequent flyer programmes and airport lounges. Air New Zealand subsequently purchased a 26% shareholding in Virgin Australia Holdings (Virgin Australia's parent company) to cement the relationship. By October 2016 Air New Zealand sold its remaining stake in Virgin Australia to investors and the Nasham Group. [22] On 4 April 2018, Air New Zealand ended its partnership with Virgin Australia effective 28 October 2018. [23]

In 2011, Air New Zealand introduced the Boeing 777-300ER airliner, as well as the Economy Skycouch, a set of three economy class seats that could be converted into a flat multi-purpose surface by raising the leg rests. After a four-year delay, Air New Zealand took delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 on 9 July 2014. On 12 September 2014, the airline withdrew the Boeing 747 after 33 years of service, [24] leaving Air New Zealand with a completely twin-engined jet fleet.

In November 2013 the New Zealand Government reduced its share in Air New Zealand from 73% to 53% as part of its controversial asset sales programme. It made $365 million from this deal. [25]

Corporate affairs and identity

"The Hub", Air New Zealand head office 36deg50'42''S 174deg45'12''E / 36.84492degS 174.75332degE / -36.84492; 174.75332 AirNewZealandheadquarters.jpg
"The Hub", Air New Zealand head office 36°50′42″S174°45′12″E / 36.84492°S 174.75332°E / -36.84492; 174.75332
Air Nelson Saab 340A (no longer operated) at Auckland Airport Air Nelson Saab 340.JPG
Air Nelson Saab 340A (no longer operated) at Auckland Airport
A Mount Cook Airlines ATR-72-500. Air New Zealand Link ATR72-500 ZK-MCJ NZ5202 NPE-AKL arr AKL (21298873182).jpg
A Mount Cook Airlines ATR-72-500.
Zeal320 logo Air New Zealand (logo).jpg
Zeal320 logo

Head office

The Air New Zealand head office, "The Hub," is a 15,600 square metres (168,000 sq ft) office park located at the corner of Beaumont and Fanshawe streets in the Western Reclamation Precinct 2, Auckland City; [26] [27] it includes two connected six-level buildings. [27] The facility consists of a lot of glass to allow sunlight and therefore reduce electricity consumption. The building does not have cubicle walls. Lights automatically turn on at 7:30 A.M. and turn off at 6 P.M. Sensors throughout the building can turn on lights if they detect human activity, and turn off lights if human activity is not detected for 15 minutes. [28] The buildings cost $60 million New Zealand dollars to build and develop. From late September to early October 2006 the airline moved 1,000 employees from four buildings in the Auckland CBD and other buildings elsewhere. [27]

The company previously had its head office in the Quay Tower in the CBD. [29] In its history the airline had its head office in Airways House on Customs Street East. [30]

The company also occupies premises at the Smales Farm Business Park in Takapuna on the North Shore, adjacent to the bus station and Northern motorway. It is home to the Contact Centre staff (additional to those at 'The Hub'), Tandem Travel and other services. [31]


Operations subsidiaries

The following are operations subsidiaries of Air New Zealand Limited:

  • Air New Zealand Cargo

Air New Zealand has two wholly owned subsidiary regional airlines Air Nelson and Mount Cook Airline that serve secondary destinations in New Zealand. Together they make up Air New Zealand Link. On 26 August 2016 a third wholly owned subsidiary that operated under the Air New Zealand Link brand, Eagle Airways, ceased operations.

Subsidiary company Zeal320 was introduced to help combat increasing labour costs. Zeal320 operated Air New Zealand's trans-Tasman fleet of Airbus A320-200 aircraft under the Air New Zealand brand. On 31 July 2006, flights were re-numbered to the NZ700-999 series for trans-Tasman services, and NZ1000 series for domestic services. All of Air New Zealand's A320-200s were registered to Zeal320 until 26 November 2008, when ownership of the fleet was transferred back to Air New Zealand. However, staff that worked the A320-200 fleet were still employed by this subsidiary. This was a source of contention within the airline group in which these employees were paid at a lower scale than their mainline counterparts. [32] Continued industrial action by staff employed in this subsidiary during 2009 permanently delayed a proposed low-cost carrier airline as a successor to Freedom Air that would have also employed the Airbus A320 on domestic routes to counter Jetstar Airways, also operating in New Zealand. In 2015 Zeal320 was removed from the New Zealand Companies Office. [33]

Technical subsidiaries

The following are technical operations subsidiaries of Air New Zealand:

  • Air New Zealand Engineering Services [34]
  • Christchurch Engine Centre (50%)

In June 2015, Air New Zealand confirmed the sale of its Safe Air engineering subsidiary to the Australian arm of Airbus. [35]


Air New Zealand was the title sponsor of the Air New Zealand Cup domestic rugby union club competition through the 2009 season. [36] The airline remains a major sponsor of New Zealand rugby, including the New Zealand national rugby union team, known as the All Blacks. [37] The airline also sponsors the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and World of Wearable Arts; and partners with New Zealand's Department of Conservation and Antarctica New Zealand. [38]

Brand and livery

Air New Zealand's "Pacific Wave", introduced in 1996 Air New Zealand Pacific Wave logo.png
Air New Zealand's "Pacific Wave", introduced in 1996
Air New Zealand's koru tail symbol, seen on Boeing 737-300 aircraft ZK-NGM AirNZ Koru.jpg
Air New Zealand's koru tail symbol, seen on Boeing 737-300 aircraft ZK-NGM

The Air New Zealand symbol is a Māori koru, a stylised representation of a silver fern frond unfolding. [39] A redesigned logo was unveiled on 21 March 2006. The "Pacific Wave" fuselage stripes were removed from short-haul aircraft in 2009, simplifying the overall livery, and was in the process of also being removed from long haul aircraft before the logo was changed again. [40]

On 27 March 2006, Air New Zealand embarked on a changeover to a new brand identity, involving a new Zambesi-designed uniform, new logo, new colour scheme and new look check-in counters and lounges. The new uniforms featured a colour palette mirroring the greenstone, teal, schist and slate hues of New Zealand; sea and sky (a Māori motif created by Derek Lardelli) fabric woven from merino wool; and curves inspired by the airline's logo symbol, the koru. A greenstone colour replaces the blue Pacific Wave colour, inspired by the colour of the pounamu, the prized gemstone found in New Zealand. The Air New Zealand Koru was woven through all Air New Zealand's signage and products.

Later in 2009 staff were involved in testing fabrics and cuts of uniforms. "'It would be fair to say that the lessons from the development and introduction of the current uniform have been taken on board," said the airline's CEO after widespread public and staff criticism. [41]

A rebranding was announced in July 2012. Ditching the teal and green colours that had represented the airline since its beginnings as Tasman Empire Airways (TEAL) in 1939, black was adopted as the brand colour in a joint effort between the airline, New Zealand design agency Designworks and renowned Kiwi typographer Kris Sowersby; as well as a new logo typeface. The tails of the aircraft and the typeface changed to black, while the rest of the fuselage remained white.[ citation needed ]

Then CEO Rob Fyfe said of the rebranding: "Black has resonated well with our customers and staff who identify with it as the colour of New Zealand and a natural choice for our national airline. It inspires pride, is part of our Kiwi identity and a symbol of Kiwi success on the world stage." The airline began using black as its corporate colour ahead of a sponsorship campaign with NZ's rugby union team, the All Blacks, in 2011. [42]

Another new livery was announced on 12 June 2013. In conjunction with a NZ$20 million Memorandum of Understanding with the national tourism agency Tourism New Zealand for joint marketing, TNZ granted permission for Air New Zealand to use the "New Zealand Fern Mark", a standard fern logo used and managed by Tourism NZ and NZ Trade and Enterprise for international promotion, in its livery. [43]

Two new liveries were unveiled. The first is predominantly white with a black strip running downwards on the rear fuselage from the tail, adorned with a koru logo in white, to disappear downwards just aft of the junction of the wings with the fuselage. The black and white fern mark adorns the fuselage. This livery is used on most of the fleet. A select number have an all black livery with the fern in silver, including the airline's first Boeing 787-9. Extensive consumer surveys by Air New Zealand revealed 78 percent people believed the Fern Mark fits with the airline's brand and represents New Zealand. [44] The first aircraft to be painted in this livery was rolled out on 24 September 2013.

Air New Zealand's liveries history
Solent Mark IV Flying Boat (7) (8919644543).jpg
Douglas DC-8-52, Air New Zealand JP7316432.jpg
Air New Zealand Boeing 737-219; ZK-NAS, March 1995 BUN (4845225574).jpg
Air New Zealand Boeing 767-300 ZK-NCI NZ 102 SYD-AKL app AKL (15027643443).jpg
Air NZ 787 ZK-NZI at AKL (33836049151).jpg

Special liveries

Air New Zealand 747-400 ZK-SUJ in "Airline to Middle Earth" livery Air New Zealand Lord of the Rings 747-400.jpg
Air New Zealand 747-400 ZK-SUJ in "Airline to Middle Earth" livery
Airbus A320 ZK-OAB at Auckland wearing the All Blacks livery Air New Zealand Airbus A320-232; ZK-OAB@AKL;11.07.2012 662au (7840659554).jpg
Airbus A320 ZK-OAB at Auckland wearing the All Blacks livery
Boeing 777-300ER ZK-OKP with "The Airline of Middle-earth" livery at Brisbane Airport ZK-OKP - 777-319 ER - Air New Zealand - Hobbit - BNE (9634217765).jpg
Boeing 777-300ER ZK-OKP with "The Airline of Middle-earth" livery at Brisbane Airport
  • In 1973, the first of the airline's McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30s arrived with 1974 British Commonwealth Games "NZ74" logo on both sides of the forward fuselage beneath the cabin windows. [45]
  • In 1984, pictures of the Buckingham Palace horse guards with 'London, Here We Come' were placed on the side of the hump of the airline's new Boeing 747-200Bs when Air New Zealand was allowed to fly the Los Angeles – London leg of the trans-Pacific route in its own name.
  • A special livery featuring an image of the All Blacks front row of Carl Hoeft, Anton Oliver and Kees Meeuws and a black tail was used on the Boeing 747-400 aircraft used to transport the team to the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Two other aircraft were wore the special All Blacks scheme: a Boeing 737-200QC and a Saab 340 of Air Nelson; both these aircraft retained their blue teal tail colours.[ citation needed ]
  • In 1999, one Boeing 737-300 was painted in a 'New Millennium' livery depicting celebrations and the America's Cup regatta that was to be held in 2000.[ citation needed ]
  • In 2002 and 2003 Air New Zealand marked its position as "the official airline to Middle Earth" by decorating three aircraft with The Lord of the Rings imagery, applied as giant decals. The decal material was described in airline publicity as being as thin as clingfilm and weighing more than 60 kilograms (130 lb). The imagery featured actors from the film trilogy The Lord of the Rings against backdrops of New Zealand locations used in the films. [46] [47]
  • In 2008, one of the airline's Boeing 737-300s was painted into a lime green Air New Zealand 'Holidays' livery.[ citation needed ]
  • During 2011 and 2012, two aircraft an Airbus A320 and a Boeing 777-300ER were painted in an All Blacks-inspired livery. The aircraft were completely black, with a silver fern motif covering the aft section of the fuselage. [48] [49] Some Air New Zealand Link aircraft were also decorated in the scheme: an ATR 72-600 operated by Mount Cook Airline; [50] and two Beechcraft 1900Ds operated by now-defunct subsidiary Eagle Airways. [51]
  • In November 2012, Boeing 777-300ER ZK-OKP was repainted in the new "black-tail" livery and fitted with a 830 m2 (8,900 sq ft) decal promoting the premiere and release of the first film in The Hobbit trilogy. The decal took six days and 400 man-hours to install. [52]
  • In December 2013, ahead of the premiere of the second part of the Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, Air New Zealand applied two 54-metre long images of the dragon Smaug on the sides of a Boeing 777-300ER.[ citation needed ]


Air New Zealand destinations (September 2017) Air New Zealand destinations.png
Air New Zealand destinations (September 2017)

Air New Zealand and its subsidiaries serve 20 domestic destinations and 31 international destinations in nineteen countries and territories across Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania. Air New Zealand serves only five of the domestic destinations; subsidiaries serve the remaining 15 destinations.

Air New Zealand operates five fifth freedom routes (i.e. between two non-New Zealand destinations), the most notable being the daily Los Angeles – London Heathrow service, operating as an extension of one of its Auckland – Los Angeles services. The airline operates weekly flights from Rarotonga to Sydney and Los Angeles, in addition to flights connecting via Auckland. [53] In 2012 – after securing a contract from the Australian government – Air New Zealand launched twice-weekly services from Sydney and Brisbane to Norfolk Island on its A320 aircraft, complementing its existing direct services from Auckland.

The airline also serves eight summer charter destinations in Japan from Auckland. [54]

Codeshare agreements

Air New Zealand has codeshare agreements with the following airlines: [55]


Air New Zealand's Airbus A320s operate short-haul routes, both domestically and internationally. ZK-OXB NZ510 NZAA 0696 (9960722725) (4).jpg
Air New Zealand's Airbus A320s operate short-haul routes, both domestically and internationally.
Air New Zealand was the launch customer for the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, shown here landing at its launch destination Perth Airport in Australia; the first was delivered to the airline in July 2014. Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner landing at Perth Airport.jpg
Air New Zealand was the launch customer for the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, shown here landing at its launch destination Perth Airport in Australia; the first was delivered to the airline in July 2014.

As of 1 April 2019, Air New Zealand and its wholly owned subsidiaries operate a total of 113 aircraft. [58] The mainline fleet consists of 65 aircraft: 29 Airbus A320 and five Airbus A320neo jet aircraft for domestic and short-haul international flights, ten Boeing 777-200ER, eight Boeing 777-300ER and thirteen Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jet aircraft for long-haul flights. The airline has an additional Boeing 787-9 aircraft, six Airbus A320neo aircraft, and eleven Airbus A321neo aircraft on order. [58] [59]

Air New Zealand's subsidiaries operate turboprop aircraft on regional domestic services. Two types of aircraft are used, each belonging to a single subsidiary. Mount Cook Airline operates 27 ATR 72 aircraft between major cities and towns. The 23 Air Nelson-operated Bombardier Q300s operate other routes alongside Mount Cook Airline, including to some smaller centres. A third subsidiary, Eagle Airways, operated smaller turboprops but ceased operations in 2016.


Long-haul international

Boeing 777-200ER cabin with mood lighting Air New Zealand Business Premier 777 cabin.jpg
Boeing 777-200ER cabin with mood lighting
Business Premier flatbed seat Air New Zealand Business Premier 777 seat.jpg
Business Premier flatbed seat

On 28 June 2004, Air New Zealand released details of the upgrade to its long-haul product, which was aimed to turn around the profitability of its international services. Every seat on its Boeing 747 aircraft was equipped with a personal LCD screen with audio video on demand (AVOD). First class was removed, with an upgraded business class and a new premium economy section installed.

In January 2010, Air New Zealand released details of its new "Kupe" long-haul product for its new 777-300ER aircraft which arrived later that year, as well as on its 787-9 aircraft. Changes included an improved Business Premier and Economy class product, a new Premium Economy cabin, and the introduction of the Economy SkyCouch.

Business Premier

Business Premier is the highest available class on Air New Zealand flights, available on both 777 variants and the 787 aircraft. The seating is configured in a herringbone layout in a 1-2-1 configuration on the 777s and 1-1-1 on the 787, allowing direct access for every passenger to an aisle. Each seat is 22 inches (560 mm) wide leather and comes with an ottoman footrest that doubles as a visitor seat. The seat converts to a full length (79.5 in or 2,020 mm) lie-flat bed, for which a pillow, duvet and sheet are provided. Business Premiere cabins can lie flat 6 feet 6 inches i.e. the longest in any airline.
Long Haul Business Class:
Pitch 79.5 inches
Width 22 inches
Seat Type Lie Flat
Short Haul Business Class:
Pitch 50 inches
Seat Width 22 inches
Seat Type Angle Lie Flat [60]

Each seat comes with a large tray table, multiple stowage bins, a cocktail tray, a bottle holder, in-seat power, three reading lights, and an AVOD system with a 10.4-inch monitor. There is a slightly uprated seat on the 777-300ER and 787-9, with lighter cream leather and purple trimmed seats. The in flight entertainment has also been improved, giving each seat USB and iPod connectivity, and a larger 12.1-inch (777-300ER) or 11.0-inch (787-9) touchscreen monitor. [61]

Premium Economy

Premium Economy is in a dedicated cabin, which shares lavatories with the Business Premier cabin, available on the Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 787-9, and some Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The class has the same mood lighting, dining and wine selection and in-seat power as the Business Premier cabin. The newly refurbished seats are wider with a 9-inch recline and extendable leg rests with a 2-4-2 configuration on the 777 variants, [62] and a 2-3-2 configuration on the 787-9. Following positive reviews and high demand after its introduction, Air New Zealand re-launched its Premium Economy cabin with added business class services, including priority check-in, priority baggage handling and the same baggage allowance as Business Premier (priority baggage handling and extra baggage allowance do not apply for passengers with connecting flights to other airlines). Seat pitch is approximately 41 in (1,000 mm).


Economy on 777-300ER Air New Zealand Pacific Economy 777-300ER cabin.jpg
Economy on 777-300ER

Economy class is available on all aircraft, in a 3-3-3 configuration on the 787, and a 3-4-3 configuration on the 777-200ER and the 777-300ER aircraft. The seats have a pitch of 31 to 34 inches (790 to 860 mm), have a 6-inch recline, and have a flexible edge seat base to provide more leg support when reclined. Each seat has its own AVOD entertainment system, with a 9-inch screen on the 787 and 777-200ER, and a 10.6-inch touchscreen on the 777-300ER.

On the various aircraft, economy seats also have USB, iPod and power connections, a cup-holder and trinket tray, and a headrest designed to allow a special sleep pillow to attach to it, preventing it from slipping downwards during sleep.

Economy SkyCouch

The Economy SkyCouch is available on the 787-9, 777-200ER and 777-300ER. It is a set of three Economy class seats on the window rows of the cabin that have armrests that retract into the seat back, and full leg rests that individually and manually can be raised to horizontal to form a flat surface extending to the back of the seats in front. It is largely designed for families for use as a flat play surface, and for couples, who on purchasing the middle seat for 25% more each, can use it as a flat sleeping surface. [63] [64] Each SkyCouch seat is equipped with the same basic facilities as a standard Economy seat. The Skycouch is only available on routes longer than 6 hours duration; where the aircraft are used on shorter routes, the leg rests are locked out and the Skycouch seats act as regular economy seats.

The SkyCouch has earned the nickname "cuddle class" by media reporting on the innovative seating, from the ability for couples to curl up and "cuddle" together on the 74 cm × 155 cm (29 in × 61 in) flat surface. [65] [66] [67] Concerns were raised almost immediately over the couch potentially being a new way to join the mile high club. Air New Zealand responded that public displays of affection of that level would not be tolerated in its aircraft. [68] The airline even released a billboard advertisement entitled "The Economy SkyCouch activity guide", suggesting "spoons" (hugs) were allowed, but "forks" (sexual activity) were not. [69]

In-flight entertainment and magazine

Forward 747-400 Business cabin with personal entertainment Air New Zealand Business Premier 747 cabin.jpg
Forward 747-400 Business cabin with personal entertainment
777-300ER bar-style galley with KiaOra screen and tasting area Air New Zealand Premium Economy Galley bar view.jpg
777-300ER bar-style galley with KiaOra screen and tasting area

Air New Zealand offers audio video on demand in all classes on international services on its aircraft. The AVOD system, branded KiaOra, features multiple channels of video, audio, music, and games. Passengers can start and stop programs, plus rewind and fast-forward as desired. It is a gate-to-gate in-flight entertainment experience: passengers can start their entertainment as soon as they board the aircraft, and continue until they arrive at the gate of their destination, maximising play time, which is especially useful for its short-haul Tasman and Pacific Island flights. Gate-to-gate in-flight entertainment is not available on certain seats in economy (such as the bulkhead and emergency exit row seats).

AVOD screen size varies: [70]

  • Business Premier: 10.4 in (260 mm)
  • Premium Economy: 8.4 in (210 mm)
  • Economy: 8.4 in (210 mm)

KiaOra, the airline's in-flight magazine, was removed from international flights from March 2009. It is now only in seat backs on domestic and trans-Tasman services, however it can still be found in the inflight magazine racks on international flights. [71] As a guide on international services, there is now a brief publication named Entertainment Magazine detailing the entertainment available on the flight, which also contains the buy on board 'in-Bites' menu. [72]

Tasman and Pacific

In response to increasing competition from low-cost carriers, namely Jetstar Airways, Air New Zealand replaced its cabin and service on short-haul international routes to Australia ("Tasman") and the Pacific Islands ("Pacific") with a new "Seats to Suit" service in 2010. Introduced on the Christchurch-Sydney route from 18 August 2010, the new service was rolled out on all routes on 17 November 2010. All international Airbus A320 aircraft were refitted with an all-economy cabin that supports four options of service. Long-haul Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft also operate on these routes. [73] [74]

Business class meal Air New Zealand catering appetizer and main hk.jpg
Business class meal

There are four options, building on each other:

Air New Zealand has reintroduced Space+ seats on the Trans-tasman routes, with 35 inches of pitch in the first three rows of the A320s. These are only available to Works or Works Deluxe passengers, and only Airpoints Gold Elite and Gold members of Air New Zealand's Airpoints frequent flyer programme are allocated these seats. [75]


Air New Zealand domestic services are operated in a single class all-economy configuration. Seating forward of the over-wing emergency exits on A320 aircraft are Space+ seats, with a larger pitch between seats, but otherwise are effectively economy seats.

From July 2014, Air New Zealand has four domestic fare options, each building on the previous option:


Air New Zealand Lounge

Air New Zealand Koru Lounge in Wellington Air New Zealand Koru Club Wellington1.jpg
Air New Zealand Koru Lounge in Wellington
Air New Zealand self check-in kiosks, Wellington Air New Zealand self check-in centre, Wellington Airport.jpg
Air New Zealand self check-in kiosks, Wellington

The Air New Zealand Lounge is the name for Air New Zealand's network of airline lounges around the world. Members of Air New Zealand Koru programme may access the lounges, and also get valet parking, priority wait listing, exclusive check-in, extra checked in baggage and preferred seating.


Airpoints is Air New Zealand's frequent-flyer programme. Members earn Airpoints Dollars, which they can redeem at face value on any fare on Air New Zealand ticketed and operated flights. Members can attain status tiers, with increasing privileges ranging from Silver to Gold, then Gold Elite, by accumulating their Status Points, which are earned separately from Airpoints Dollars. Airpoints Gold and Airpoints Gold Elite have the same recognition as Star Alliance Gold status and benefits across the Star Alliance network. Airpoints Silver status is equivalent to Star Alliance Silver.

Airpoints members receive Status Points for almost every Air New Zealand flight, as well as many other flights with its Star Alliance partners. Status Points enable members to reach a higher status faster. Status Points will still be granted even on discount fares (such as Smart Saver and grabaseat fares) that normally do not earn Airpoints Dollars. [76]

Incidents and accidents


Outsourcing maintenance

On 19 October 2005, Air New Zealand proposed outsourcing most of its heavy maintenance on its long-haul aircraft and engines, which would result in about 600 job losses, mostly in Auckland. Air New Zealand said that there were larger maintenance providers that could provide maintenance work more cheaply due to their large scale. The proposal was estimated to save $100 million over five years and came after many attempts to attract contracts to service other airlines' longhaul aircraft.

Eventually, a union proposal to save some of the remaining jobs was accepted. The proposal included shift and pay changes (most of them pay cuts) which would allow about 300 engineers in Auckland to keep their jobs. 200 were made redundant or resigned. [77]

Minor seating policy

In November 2005, it was revealed that Air New Zealand (along with Qantas and British Airways) had a policy of not seating adult male passengers next to unaccompanied children. The policy came to light following an incident in 2004 when a man who was seated next to a young boy on a Qantas flight in New Zealand was asked to change seats with a female passenger. A steward informed him that "it was the airline's policy that only women were allowed to sit next to unaccompanied children". Air New Zealand later said it had a similar policy to Qantas. [78] [79]

Qantas code-share

On 12 April 2006, Air New Zealand and Qantas announced that they had signed a code-share agreement for their trans-Tasman routes and would file for authorisation from the New Zealand Ministry of Transport [80] and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. [81] The airlines maintained that they were making losses on Tasman routes due to too many empty seats, and that a codeshare would return the routes to profitability. Critics, particularly Wellington International Airport, Christchurch Airport and Melbourne Airport, argued that the codeshare would lead to reduced passenger choice and higher airfares, and that cities such as Auckland and Sydney would benefit immensely through economic activity services would bring.

On 15 November 2006 Air New Zealand announced it was withdrawing its application after a draft decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to not approve the code-sharing agreement.

On 31 May 2018 Qantas and Air New Zealand announced that "seamless air travel" would be available to their customers through a new code-sharing agreement. The code-share will take effect in October 2018. [82]

Alternative propulsion

In the effort to develop an aviation biofuel, Air New Zealand and Boeing researched the jatropha plant to see if it was a viable green alternative to conventional fuel. [83] A two-hour test flight, using a 50-50 mixture of the new biofuel with Jet A-1 feeding a Rolls Royce RB-211 engine of one of the airline's 747-400s, was completed on 30 December 2008. The engine was then removed to be scrutinised and studied to identify any differences between the jatropha blend and regular Jet A1. No effects to performances were found. The use of jatropha has been identified as a possible future fuel but large tracts of low quality land needed to grow the plant would have to be found without impeding other agricultural uses. [84]

See also

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