Air New Zealand has been providing a safe, reliable, and enjoyable service to its passengers since its formation in 1940. The airline has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a small regional carrier and is now one of the largest international airlines operating out of New Zealand. Air New Zealand is renowned for its friendly customer service, modern aircraft, and great value for money.
Air New Zealand began as Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL). The airline was formed in 1940 as a joint venture between the governments of New Zealand and Australia. TEAL initially operated between the two countries and later expanded to include Fiji, Tonga, and the Cook Islands. The airline's first aircraft were two Douglas DC-3s, which were used for the inaugural flight from Auckland to Sydney in 1940.
In 1965, TEAL was rebranded as Air New Zealand and began expanding its network to include routes to Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the United States. The airline's fleet was modernized over the years, and by the 1980s, it was operating a mix of Boeing 747s and 737s. As Air New Zealand expanded, it developed a reputation for excellent customer service and safety.
Air New Zealand has experienced a number of important milestones over the years. In 1988, the airline signed an agreement with Singapore Airlines that allowed the two carriers to share routes and resources. This was the first code-sharing agreement in the world and helped to set the standard for modern airline alliances.
In 1998, Air New Zealand launched the world's first long-haul, all-Business Class flight between London and Auckland. The innovative flight plan allowed passengers to save time and money and was a huge success.
In 2004, Air New Zealand made history when it entered into a strategic alliance with Air Canada. The alliance allowed the two airlines to offer passengers a wider range of destinations and improved customer service.
In 2011, Air New Zealand was awarded the title of Airline of the Year by Air Transport World, the leading magazine for the aviation industry. The award recognized the airline's customer service, fleet modernisation and safety record.
Air New Zealand has experienced its share of setbacks over the years. In 1979, TEAL Flight 441 crashed into the side of a mountain in the Tongan Islands, killing all 237 passengers on board. The tragedy was the worst aviation disaster in New Zealand's history.
In 2008, Air New Zealand was subject to a federal investigation in the United States over allegations of price fixing. The airline eventually reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice and paid a fine of $20 million.
Despite these unfortunate incidents, Air New Zealand has continued to thrive. Today, the airline operates a fleet of over 100 aircraft and flies to more than 20 countries around the world. Air New Zealand is one of the most respected airlines in the world and is a symbol of New Zealand's progress in the aviation industry.