Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 26 April 1940 (26 April 1940) (as TEAL)[1]
Commenced operations 1 April 1965
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Airpoints
Airport lounge Air New Zealand Lounge
Alliance Star Alliance
Subsidiaries Air New Zealand Link
Fleet size 57 (excl. subsidiaries)
Destinations 52 (incl. subsidiaries)
Parent company New Zealand Government (53%)[2]
Traded as NZX: AIR; ASX: AIZ
Headquarters Wynyard Quarter, Auckland City, New Zealand[3]
Key people
Revenue Increase NZ$4,925 million (2015)[5]
Operating income Increase NZ$1,161 million (2015)[5]
Profit Increase NZ$327 million (2015)[5]
Total assets Increase NZ$6,775 million (2015)[5]
Total equity Increase NZ$1,965 million (2015)[5]
Employees 10,861 (June, 2015)

Air New Zealand Limited is the national airline of New Zealand. Based in Auckland, the airline operates scheduled passenger flights to 21 domestic and 31 international destinations in 16 countries around the Pacific rim and the United Kingdom.[6] The airline has been a member of the Star Alliance since 1999.[7]

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 the failed tie up with Australian carrier Ansett Australia. In the 2015 financial year to June, Air New Zealand carried 14.29 million passengers.[8]

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 code sharing deal 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]

Air New Zealand currently operates an international long-haul fleet consisting of Boeing 777 family, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, and Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. Airbus A320 aircraft operate on routes to Australia and the Pacific Islands, and on domestic routes. 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]


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.
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 was first delivered in 1973, and were the first Air NZ 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]

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-10's introduced the new koru-inspired logo for the airline, which remains to this day.

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.

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[17][18] believe this to have been a critical mistake, as Ansett's fleet, staffing levels and infrastructure far outweighed that of Air NZ. 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 777-200ER to its fleet in 2004. As of 2014, the 777-200ER and the larger -300ER form 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 a 76.5% stake), and subsequently received new leadership. This act was the only thing that spared Air New Zealand from also going into administration, without which it too would have joined its now bankrupt subsidiary, Ansett, and likely would have been grounded.

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 in 2004. The airline later was announced as the launch customer for the -9 variant of the 787.

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 allows both airlines to expand operations between Australia and New Zealand with codeshares for trans-Tasman and connecting domestic flights, reciprocal access to lounges and frequent flyer programs. Air New Zealand subsequently purchased a 26% shareholding in Virgin Australia Holdings (the owner of Virgin Australia/V Australia/Pacific Blue/Polynesian Blue) to cement the relationship. It is understood to be a long term holding with Air New Zealand saying that at present it does not wish to own more.

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,[19] leaving Air New Zealand with a completely twin-engined jet fleet.

In November 2013 the 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.

Corporate affairs and identity

Air Nelson Saab 340A (no longer operated) at Auckland Airport
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;[20][21] it includes two connected six level buildings.[21] 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.[22] The building 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 some other buildings.[21]

The company previously had its head office in the Quay Tower in the CBD.[23] In its history the airline had its head office in Airways House on Customs Street East.[24]


Operations subsidiaries

The following are operations subsidiaries of Air New Zealand Limited:

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.

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 has been a bone of contention within the airline group in which these employees are paid at a lower scale than their mainline counterparts.[25] 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. As of mid-2014, a non-operations company named Zeal320 is registered as active with the New Zealand Companies Office,[26] but this entity does not employ any crew.

On 26 August 2016 wholly owned subsidiary Eagle Airways, which operated under the Air New Zealand Link brand, ceased operations.

Technical subsidiaries

The following are technical operations subsidiaries of Air New Zealand:

  • Air New Zealand Engineering Services


  • Christchurch Engine Centre (50%)
  • [28]

In June 2015, Air New Zealand confirmed the sale of its Safe Air engineering subsidiary to the Australian arm of Airbus Group.[29]


Air New Zealand was the title sponsor of the Air New Zealand Cup domestic rugby club competition through the 2009 season.[30] The airline remains a major sponsor of New Zealand rugby,including the country's national team, the All Blacks.[31] The airline also sponsors the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, World of Wearable Arts and partners with New Zealand's Department of Conservation and Antarctica New Zealand.[32]

Brand and livery


Air New Zealand's "Pacific Wave", introduced in 1996
The logo used by Air New Zealand from 1996 to 2012

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 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 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 Mr. Fyfe after widespread public and staff criticism.[33]

Livery history

Air New Zealand's koru tail symbol, seen on Boeing 737-300 aircraft ZK-NGM

The Air New Zealand symbol is a Māori 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 1996. The koru also appears on the Air New Zealand house flag and flies at international airports such as Los Angeles Airport.

A redesigned logo was unveiled on 21 March 2006. The new logo has been introduced in all advertising, signage and stationery and on planes. 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 change (see below).[34]

A rebranding was announced in July 2012. Ditching the teal and green colours that have represented the airline since its early beginnings as Tasman Empire Airways (TEAL) in 1939, they instead moved to a black colour in a joint effort between Air New Zealand, 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 will be black, while the rest of the fuselage will remain white, and the engine nacelles will be in silver. The koru will be moved to the right of the words, as it was originally.

Then CEO Rob Fyfe had this to say about 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 their corporate colour ahead of the sponsorship campaign with NZ's rugby union team, the All Blacks, last year.[35]

But right after the first few aircraft were painted in the scheme[36][37] 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 their livery.[38]

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 before where the wings meet the body of the plane. 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.[39] The first aircraft to be painted in this livery was rolled out on 24 September 2013.

Special liveries

Air New Zealand 747-400 (ZK-SUJ) "Airline to Middle Earth"
Airbus A320 ZK-OAB with the All Blacks livery, at Los Angeles International Airport on its delivery flight to Auckland
Boeing 777-300ER ZK-OKP with "The Airline of Middle-earth" livery, at London Heathrow Airport


Further information: Air New Zealand destinations

Air New Zealand and its subsidiaries serves 21 domestic destinations and 31 international destinations in sixteen 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 16 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.[47] 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.[48]

Codeshare agreements

Air New Zealand has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[49]


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's mainline fleet consists of Boeing jet aircraft for long-haul flights, and Airbus aircraft for domestic- and short-haul international flights. As of November 2016 the Air New Zealand fleet consists of the following aircraft:[50][51][52]

Air New Zealand fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
J P S Y Total
Airbus A320-200 30 171 171 Used on domestic services[53]
168 168 Used on short-haul international services[54]
Replacement: Airbus A320neo/Airbus A321neo
Airbus A320neo   13 TBA Replacing international A320-200s.
Deliveries 2017-2019.
Exact A320/A321 mix undetermined, at least three will be A321s.[55]
Airbus A321neo   TBA
Boeing 767-300ER 3[50] 24 206 230 To be retired by March 2017
Replacement: Boeing 787-9[56]
Boeing 777-200ER 8   26 40 54 192 312
Boeing 777-300ER 7   44 44 60 184 332 All to be refurbished from February 2017[57]
Boeing 787-9 9 3[58] 18 21 42 221 302 Launch customer of the 787-9 version
Last 3 will have a higher premium seating configuration[59]
Total 57 16

The Boeing customer code for Air New Zealand is 19, which was inherited from the National Airways Corporation on its merger with Air New Zealand in 1978 (Air New Zealand itself didn't own any Boeing aircraft before 1978). This means a Boeing 777-200ER built for Air New Zealand is designated a 777-219ER.

As of August 2016 Air New Zealand and its subsidiaries currently operate a total of 103 aircraft.[50] 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 26 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.

Fleet plans

In 2004 the airline ordered eight Boeing 787-9s as the launch customer for the 787-9 model, with options on eight more. These were originally intended to be delivered beginning in late 2010,[60] but significant development delays in the base 787-8 model pushed delivery on the 787-9 out to mid-2014. The first aircraft was handed over to Air New Zealand on 8 July 2014 at the Everett plant, and arrived in Auckland three days later.[61] In February 2013, Air New Zealand exercised two options to bring the order to ten, and later on 8 December 2014, exercised two more to bring the order to twelve. The last 787-9 is expected to be delivered in late 2018.[58] The 787-9s are replacing the Boeing 767-300ERs in the fleet.

At the start of June 2014, Air New Zealand announced it would be placing a NZ$1.6 billion order with Airbus for thirteen Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft. The aircraft will be introduced from 2017 to replace the airline's older short-haul international Airbus A320s. There will be at least three A321neo aircraft; these will have a two-class configuration compared to the A320neos and existing A320s, that have all-economy configurations. The order also included a fourteenth aircraft, being an extra A320 for the domestic fleet.[55][62]

With the fleet renewal, Air New Zealand plans to simplify its jet fleet to three aircraft families: the Airbus A320/A320neo family operating short-haul domestic and international routes, and Boeing 777s and Boeing 787s on long-haul international routes.

Historic fleet

The Boeing 747-200 was introduced in 1981; the 747, both -200 and -400 variants, was a mainstay of Air New Zealand's fleet until the early 2010s.
Air New Zealand introduced its first Boeing 767 in 1985

In the past, Air New Zealand has flown the following aircraft (not including aircraft solely operated by TEAL and NAC, or aircraft operated solely by Air New Zealand Link subsidiaries):[63]

Type Introduced Retired Replacement Notes
Lockheed L-188 Electra 1959 1972 Douglas DC-8-52 ex-TEAL
Fokker F27 Friendship 1960 1990
Douglas DC-8-52 1965 1989 McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Last passenger service was in 1981
One aircraft continued to operate until 1989 as a freighter.
Boeing 737-200 1968 2001 Boeing 737-300 Some ex-NAC
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 1973 1982 Boeing 747-200 One written off (Air New Zealand Flight 901)
Boeing 747-200 1981 2000 Boeing 747-400
Boeing 767-200ER 1985 2005 Boeing 767-300ER
Boeing 747-400 1990 2014 Boeing 777-300ER
Boeing 737-300 1998 2015 Airbus A320-200
BAe 146-200 2001 2002 Boeing 737-300 One aircraft, obtained after the collapse of Ansett New Zealand
BAe 146-300 2001 2002 Boeing 737-300 Obtained after the collapse of Ansett New Zealand


Long-haul international

Boeing 777-200ER cabin with mood lighting
Business Premier flatbed seat

On 28 June 2004, Air New Zealand released details of the upgrade to their long-haul product, which was aimed to turn around the profitability of its international services. Every seat on their 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 their new "Kupe" long-haul product for their new 777-300ER aircraft which arrived later that year, as well as on their 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.[64]

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.[65]


The 767 is equipped with standard recliner business class seats due to its inability to take the Business Premier seat. Seating is in a 2-2-2 configuration, with a 15-inch recline. Each seat is fitted with a standard legrest and footrest, USB, iPod and power connectivity, and a 10.6-inch touchscreen AVOD system.

Pacific Premium Economy

Pacific Premium Economy is in a dedicated cabin, which shares lavatories with the Business Premier cabin, available on the Boeing 777-200ER and Boeing 787-9 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 777-200ER,[66] and in a 2-3-2 configuration on the 787-9. Following positive reviews and high demand after its introduction, Air New Zealand re-launched its Pacific Premium 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).

Premium Economy Spaceseat

Premium Economy Spaceseats

Air New Zealand's Premium Economy Spaceseat is only available on the 777-300ER.

Designed by Air New Zealand in consultation with US design studio IDEO, the new Premium Economy cabin uses a 2-2-2 seating configuration. The central pair of Spaceseats are slightly angled for those travelling with a colleague or partner, and the two arm rests can form a single table for shared in-flight dining. The pairs of outboard Spaceseats on either side are angled to enhance privacy for solo flyers. The seats are built around a hard shell so the passenger in front cannot recline into the space of the person sitting behind. Instead, the seat slides forward and angles up as it reclines into the shell, similar to an armchair.

The Spaceseat will be phased out in 2017 during the refurbishment of the 777-300ER fleet. It will be replaced with the Pacific Premium Economy Product as found on other Air New Zealand long-haul aircraft[56]

Pacific Economy

Pacific Economy on 777-300ER

Pacific Economy is available on all aircraft, in a 2-3-2 configuration on the 767, 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 767, 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.[67][68] Each SkyCouch seat is equipped with the same basic facilities as a standard Pacific 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 new 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.[69][70][71] Concerns were raised almost immediately over if the couch could potentially be a new place 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.[72] The airline even went to release a billboard advertisement entitled "The Economy SkyCouch activity guide", suggesting "spoons" were allowed, but "forks" were not.[73]

In-flight entertainment and magazine

Forward 747-400 Business cabin with personal entertainment

Air New Zealand offers audio video on demand in all classes on international services on its 777-200ER, 777-300ER, 787-9, 767-300ER and A320-200 aircraft. The first AVOD system, introduced on all its 747s and 777s, was manufactured by Rockwell Collins. The later systems, enhanced with a touch-screen functionality, were manufactured by Panasonic Avionics Corporation.

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. Recently, Air New Zealand has introduced a gate-to-gate in-flight entertainment experience. Passengers can start their entertainment as soon as they board the plane, 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), and on all Business Class seats on its 767s as they use fold-out PTV.

777-300ER bar-style galley with KiaOra screen and tasting area

AVOD screen size varies:[74]

KiaOra, the airline's in-flight magazine, was removed from international flights from March 2009. It is now only in seat backs on all the domestic services and trans-Tasman, however it can still be found in the inflight magazine racks on international flights.[75] 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.[76]

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. Initially 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. Business Class is also available where Boeing 767, 777 and 787 aircraft operate the route; this is the same as the long-haul product.[77][78]

Business class meal

There are four options, building on each other:

Air New Zealand is reintroducing 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 Airports programme are allocated these seats.[79]

The AVOD system consists of an 8.4-inch screen. In addition, the AVOD screens allow ordering of drinks and snacks to be delivered to their seat by the cabin crew. Works and Works Deluxe passengers get complimentary drinks after their meal, while drinks for Seat and Seat+Bag passengers, and snacks for all passengers are available for purchase using a credit card or a voucher purchased at the airport prior to boarding.

Beech 1900D single-class cabin

Airpoints Gold and Gold Elite are entitled to an additional carry-on bag up to 7 kg on all options. Airpoints Gold, Gold Elite and Koru members are entitled to an additional checked bag up to 23 kg on all options except Seat.[77]


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:

Only FlexiPlus is refundable; all other options are non-refundable. FlexiPlus passengers, along with Airpoints and Koru members, get priority over the Space+ seating.

All domestic passengers are offered tea, coffee or water. Passengers on turboprop aircraft are also offered a biscuit, while those on A320 flights are offered a choice of snacks, including vege crisps, muesli bars, and biscuits. Hard lollies are handed out to passengers on the descent. On flights before 9 am on A320 aircraft, muesli and muffins are offered, as well as morning newspapers, and on flights between 4:30 pm and 7:00 pm, beer and wine are offered to passengers (provided they are 18 years or over), as well as Lemon & Paeroa, cheese, crackers and grapes, and bagel crisps and hummus.


Air New Zealand Lounge

Main article: Koru Lounge
Air New Zealand Koru Lounge in Wellington
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.

Check-in kiosks

Check-in kiosks were launched in October 2008 around various domestic terminals throughout New Zealand. Users use a bar code issued on-line or via mobile or PDA to scan for checking in. Most business day travellers can go straight through to their departure gate if not checking in bags. Wellington and Christchurch were equipped in late November 2008 while the larger provincial cities were retrofitted with a smaller system. Smaller destinations received an ATM sized machine (for the Beech 1900D network). The kiosks are manufactured by IER, a subsidiary of Bolloré.

The proportion of Air New Zealand's passengers using self-service check-in is increasing. Following the launch of its domestic product, the airline reached its 80% self-service target three days after going live.[80] That has continued to grow to the stage that the number of full-service customers travelling within its domestic network has reduced to a trickle. The self-service kiosks are now also available for travel out of the Christchurch International Airport terminal, Auckland International terminal and Wellington Airport on trans-Tasman and most Pacific Island services allowing passengers to self check-in with baggage. Check-in kiosks have also been installed in offshore airports such as Sydney and Melbourne for Air New Zealand services.


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 Elite, by accumulating their Status Points which are earned separately from Airpoints Dollars. Becoming an Airpoints Gold and Airpoints Elite would have the same recognition as a Star Alliance Gold status and benefits across the Star Alliance network. The same goes for the Airpoints Silver and Star Alliance Silver, but with fewer benefits.

Airpoints members now will 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.[81]

Advertising and promotion

Nothing to Hide campaign

On 10 May 2009, Air New Zealand launched a TV advertising campaign, Nothing to hide.

The campaign featured more than ninety Air New Zealand staff, eight of whom were chosen for starring roles and who swapped their real uniforms for a body painted version. Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe made a cameo appearance in full body-paint.[82][83] The campaign was designed to differentiate Air New Zealand from low-cost competitors who levy additional charges if a passenger wants to check a bag or have a drink. Air New Zealand have airfares that include baggage allowances and refreshments.

The TV commercial was accompanied by a new in-flight safety video using the same theme. The safety video, titled Bare Essentials, was shown on all Boeing 737-300-operated flights.[84] It featured a pilot and four cabin staff, including William Coxhead, a regular in Air New Zealand safety videos.[85] Another version was released later, this time for the Airbus A320.[86]

The TV ad and in-flight safety video both use the track "Under My Skin" by New Zealand singer Gin Wigmore.

The campaign website Nothing To Hide, contained both videos complete with bloopers and behind the scenes most of which are still on YouTube. On YouTube the in-flight safety video gathered over 7 million views by the start of 2013. The campaign has been reported by international networks such as CNN and the BBC.[87]

In late 2009 Air New Zealand started to put up billboard ads where a body painted staff member was walking into a carwash or ready to go down a water slide or even ready to jump off a diving board.

All Blacks Safety Video

Air New Zealand produced a humorous safety video in 2010, promoting the New Zealand All Blacks.[88][89] One scene involved safety video regular William Coxhead requesting a peck on the cheek from All Black Richard Kahui after seeing a female flight attendant do the same, only for Kahui to chicken out. The scene was cut in December 2010 after Air New Zealand drew criticism from some LGBT groups.[90]


From 2010 to 2011 Air New Zealand had a very successful[91] online campaign using a puppet called Rico. Rico had an active presence on Air New Zealand's YouTube page,[92] his own Twitter[93] and Facebook[94] feeds, and attracted both a devoted fan base and controversy.[95]

On the surface, he was an ambassador for the company and a world traveller often providing trips and worldly advice but deliberate problems with his accent (possibly meant to be Peruvian) made him too risque for normal media. His online videos often included famous guests[96] including Snoop Dogg, David Hasselhoff, and Lindsay Lohan.

Air New Zealand seemingly killed him[97] off late in 2011 (actually tying his fictional homicide to another marketing campaign based on Cluedo).

Mile High Madness

In 2011, Air New Zealand created an air safety video based on a fitness show format starring Richard Simmons.[98] The video features William Coxhead, a regular in Air New Zealand safety videos.[99]

The Hobbit

In November 2012, Air New Zealand released a mock in-flight safety video featuring hobbits, dwarves and orcs, as part of a cross-promotion with the first part of director Sir Peter Jackson's upcoming film adaptation of The Hobbit. Sir Peter himself makes a cameo in the clip.[100] The video features William Coxhead, a regular in Air New Zealand safety videos.[101]

The company followed it up in November 2013, with Just another day in Middle-earth #airnzhobbit, featuring Dean O'Gorman, who plays Fili in the Hobbit trilogy, and the voice of co-star Sylvester McCoy.[102] Another safety video, titled The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made, was published in October 2014. It features well known actors and collaborators from the film franchise, including Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood.[103]

The Bear Essentials

In February 2013, Air New Zealand released an in-flight safety video to promote its partnership with the New Zealand Department of Conservation.[104] The video features Man v Wild star Bear Grylls, performing antics he is known for from his television show, including jumping into a river with a life jacket and eating glow worms. The video uses natural features in place of features on the plane, such as a hole in a hill as overhead lockers, and a cave with glow worms to be the emergency lighting.[105] The video features William Coxhead, a regular in Air New Zealand safety videos.

Safety Old School Style

American TV veterans Betty White and Gavin MacLeod, co-stars on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 1970s, reunited in the airline's in-flight safety video. Released in October 2013, it takes place at a retirement resort.[106]

Men in Black

In August 2015, Air New Zealand released a Men in Black themed in-flight safety video. The video featured a parody of the song "Men in Black" performed by Israel Dagg and Stan Walker with appearances by All Blacks members Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Kieran Read, Keven Mealamu and Sam Whitelock, coach Steve Hansen, former international rugby players Martin Johnson, David Campese and Agustín Pichot, Rip Torn reprising his role as Agent Zed from the first two Men in Black films, and Frank the Pug.[107][108]

Incidents and accidents

As of June 2010, Air New Zealand and its subsidiaries have been involved in more than ten incidents and accidents, including 5 hull loss 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 are larger maintenance providers who can provide maintenance work 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.[115]

Minor seating policy

In November 2005, it was revealed that Air New Zealand (along with Qantas & British Airways) has a policy of not seating adult male passengers next to unaccompanied children. The policy came to light following an incident in 2004 when Mark Wolsay, 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.[116][117]

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[118] and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.[119] 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.

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.[120] A two-hour test flight using a 50-50 mixture of the new biofuel with Jet A-1 in the number one position Rolls Royce RB-211 engine of 747-400 ZK-NBS, 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. Air New Zealand took the opportunity to retire ZK-NBS due to the economic global slowdown in 2009. It was then flown to the USA and broken up for reusable parts.[121]

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External links

Media related to Air New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons

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