Air New Zealand Limited (, Air New Zealand) is a scheduled passenger airline based in Auckland, New Zealand, and the national flag carrier. Its focus is on Australasia and the South Pacific, with services to Europe, North America and Asia, and it is a Star Alliance member. Its main hub is Auckland Airport.
Air New Zealand began as TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited) in 1940, operating Short Empire flying boats on trans-Tasman routes. With the introduction of the DC8-52 in 1965, TEAL became Air New Zealand. In 1978, the domestic National Airways Corporation (NAC) and its subsidiary Safe Air were merged into Air New Zealand to form a single national airline.
The new uniforms feature 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 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 will be woven through all Air New Zealand's signage and products.
The Air New Zealand Māori symbol is a koru. It is a stylised representation of a fern frond unfolding, and signifies new life, growth and renewal. The koru was used on the prows of the early Polynesian canoes that sailed the Pacific with its many islands.
The koru was first applied to the tail of Air New Zealand aircraft with the arrival of the DC-10 in 1973, and has remained ever since. The current aircraft livery was adopted in 1997. The koru also appears on the Air New Zealand house flag (see illustration) and flies at international airports such as Los Angeles Airport.
A redesigned logo was unveiled on March 21, 2006. The new logo has been introduced in all advertising, signage and stationery and on planes.
In 2002 and 2003 Air New Zealand marked its position as "the official airline to Middle Earth" by decorating three planes with The Lord of the Rings imagery, applied as giant decals (while the film is as thin as clingfilm, the decals weighed over 60 kg). The decals featured actors from the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy against backdrops of New Zealand locations used for in the films.
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.
Ironically, the airline found itself short of engineers not long after, and has been on a worldwide recruitment campaign ever since.
On April 12, 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 and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 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 and Melbourne Airport, argued that the codeshare would lead to reduced passenger choice and higher airfares, and that the airlines were exploiting an effective duopoly on the Tasman routes. On November 15, 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.
The new generation seat design which provides more space was installed into Pacific Class (Economy), the main cabin. The seats have a flexible edge seat base to provide more leg support when reclined and the entertainment equipment is mounted far up below the seat to maximise space available to the passenger. In a first for Air New Zealand, every seat in the main cabin will have an 8.4" personal LCD screen linked to the system.
Pacific Premium Class (Premium Economy), is a new concept to Air New Zealand, and is the only airline offering the product into New Zealand. Premium Economy seats are in a dedicated cabin, which shares lavatories with the Business Class cabin. The class has the same mood lighting, wine selection and inseat power for electronic devices such as laptops as the Business Class cabin. On the Boeing 747 the seats are wider than Pacific Class, however on the Boeing 777 the seat width is the same as in Pacific Economy. All seats also feature more legroom. A re-launch of this product had been announced by Air New Zealand. Because of the high demand and good reviews from customers of this product from its inaugural launch several years ago, Air New Zealand have decided to incorporate more Business Premier services into the cabin. These improvements include amenity kits from Living Nature and improved dining experiences.
The new Business Premier Class (Business class), cabin introduced a seat that converts to a flat bed, and is the only truly lie-flat bed in Business Class flying to or from New Zealand. The seats are configured in a herring-bone layout, meaning that every seat has direct aisle access. The seat is a variation on the Virgin Atlantic Airways Upper Class seat, which was paid for the licence to these seats. Air Canada has ordered similar seating for an upgrade of its Business Class. Another airline that is also using this concept of Business Class is Cathay Pacific.
On 11 December 2007, Air New Zealand announced that they were going to start hiring in-flight concierge staff for long-haul international flights. The concierges will aim to ensure that all passengers receive personal attention with such services as offering travel advice to passengers (like potential activities at the destination) and helping with onward bookings. The service is planned to start in April 2008 with routes between Auckland and Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Hong Kong tipped to be the first to have concierges introduced. The airline does not expect fares to rise as a result of the extra crew member, and believes that the move is an aviation first.
Boeing 747-400 aircraft fly on the daily non-stop Auckland–Los Angeles service (NZ5/6), daily Auckland-London Heathrow via Hong Kong (NZ38/39) flights and daily Auckland-London Heathrow via Los Angeles (NZ2/1) flights. They are also used on one of the daily Auckland-Brisbane services.
Boeing 777-200ER aircraft are used on the Auckland-Osaka (NZ97/98), Melbourne-Auckland-San Francisco (NZ7/8), Auckland-Tokyo (NZ90/99), Auckland-Shanghai (NZ89/88) routes. They are also used for one of the daily Auckland-Melbourne services, and for regular Auckland-Vancouver flights.
Boeing 767-300 aircraft are used predominantly to fly the majority of Air New Zealand's other routes including (but not limited to) Auckland–Perth, Auckland-Honolulu, Auckland-Rarotonga-Los Angeles, Auckland-Nukualofa-Apia-Los Angeles and Auckland-Papeete.
The Koru Club is the name for Air New Zealand's network of airline lounges in New Zealand and around the world.
Air New Zealand has five wholly-owned subsidiary airlines:
Airpoints is Air New Zealand's Frequent Flyer programme. Members earn Airpoints Dollars, which they can redeem at face value on any fare on every Air New Zealand ticketed and operated flight. Members are assigned a tier status, with increasing privileges ranging from Jade to Gold Elite.
The Air New Zealand fleet consists of the following aircraft as at 18 June 2008:
(Business Premier/Premium Pacific*/Pacific)
|Airbus A320-200||12||152 (8/0/144)||Domestic, Select Tasman (except Perth) & Pacific||Operated by: Zeal320. |
Currently undergoing cabin refit.
1 Aircraft currently with New Interior.
10 Aircraft are leased
|ATR72-500||11||68 (0/0/68)||Domestic||Operated by: Mount Cook Airline. 8 Aircraft are leased|
|19 (0/0/19)||Domestic||Operated by: Eagle Airways|
|Boeing 737-300||17||136 (0/0/136)||Domestic & Pacific||11 Aircraft are leased|
|Boeing 747-400||8||379 (46/39/294)||International long haul, Tasman||4 Aircraft are leased|
|Boeing 767-300ER||5||234 (24/0/210)||Select Tasman and Pacific Routes||Undergoing cabin refit. |
2 Aircraft with New Interior
|Boeing 777-200ER||8||313 (26/18/269)|
304 (26/36/242) Retrofitted
|International long haul, Select Tasman & North American Routes||4 Aircraft are leased|
Aircraft to be retrofitted Early 2009
|Boeing 777-300ER||(4 orders)||351 (39/46/269)||International long haul||Deliveries: 2010–2012|
|Boeing 787-9||(8 orders)||International long haul||Deliveries: 2012–2015|
|Bombardier Q300||21 (2 orders)||50 (0/0/50)||Domestic||Operated by: Air Nelson|
On 17 February 1979 an Air New Zealand Fokker Friendship crashed into Manukau Harbour while on final approach. One of the crew and one company staff member were killed.
On 28 November 1979 Air New Zealand flight 901, a scheduled sightseeing flight over Antarctica, crashed into Mount Erebus. The McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 disintegrated on impact killing all 237 passengers aboard as well as the 20 crewmembers. This remains New Zealand's deadliest disaster.
On 29 March 1995, NZ2337 from Hamilton to New Plymouth operated by a Kiwi West Aviation Beech Queen Air B80 Excalibur for Air New Zealand crashed 13 minutes after take-off killing all six on board. The plane stalled and spun after both engines failed due to fuel starvation.
On 8 February 2008, a woman attempted to hijack Air New Zealand Flight 2279 from Blenheim to Christchurch. Both pilots and a passenger suffered stab injuries. The aircraft landed safely and the woman was arrested.