On 1 April 1965, Tasman Empire Airways Limited was rebranded as Air New Zealand, the Government of New Zealand having purchased the Government of Australia's 50% stake in 1961.Air New Zealand began as Tasman Empire Airways Limited, founded in 1939 by an international agreement between New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Its initial shareholders were the New Zealand Government, Union Airways of New Zealand, Qantas and the British Overseas Airways Corporation. It was formed to fly trans-Tasman routes and carry passengers, cargo and mail between Australia and New Zealand. Incorporated on 26 April 1940, it started operations four days later, on 30 April. Its first flight, flown with a Short S30 flying boat, connected Auckland and Sydney.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, and the airline ended flying boat operations in favour of land-based turboprop airliners by 1960. On 1 April 1965, TEAL became Air New Zealand—the New Zealand government having purchased Australia's 50% stake in the carrier.
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.In 1978, the domestic airline National Airways Corporation 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.
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 . In 1989 the airline was privatised with a sale to a consortium headed by Brierley Investments. . The New Zealand air transport market underwent deregulation in 1990, prompting Air New Zealand to acquire a 50% stake in Ansett Transport Industries 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 Transport Industries for A$680 million from News Corporation in an attempt to break into the Australian aviation market. Business commentators 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. Air New Zealand was subsequently bailed out by the New Zealand Government, with Helen Clark's Labour Government taking an 82% stake in the company.
In October 2001, Air New Zealand was re-nationalised under a New Zealand government NZ$885 million rescue plan , and subsequently received new leadership. 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 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. 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, and later, domestic flights. In 2005, the airline received its first Boeing 777 aircraft , 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.On 21 December 2010, the New Zealand government approved an alliance between Air New Zealand and Australian airline Virgin Blue , 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 to cement the relationship. By October 2016 Air New Zealand sold its remaining stake in Virgin Australia to investors and the Nasham Group. On 4 April 2018, Air New Zealand ended its partnership with Virgin Australia effective 28 October 2018.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. The airline retired its last Boeing 747 in September 2014, the last Boeing 737 in September 2015, and the last Boeing 767 in March 2017, leaving it with a simplified fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft for short-haul and Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft for long-haul.
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.In October 2019, the airline announced it would stop its Los Angeles to London route in October 2020 while launching a new non-stop route from Auckland to New York. The London route was prematurely cancelled in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the New York route was delayed, with the first flight taking place on 17 September 2022.
Ms. Leila Peters (Gen. Mang. of Corp. Fin.)
Kim Cootes (Head of Investor Relations)
Ms. Jennifer Page (Gen. Counsel & Company Sec.)
Ms. Leanne Geraghty (Chief Customer & Sales Officer)
Ms. Nikki Dines (Chief People Officer)
Captain David Morgan (Chief Operational Integrity & Safety Officer)
Mr. Mathew Bolland (Chief Corp. Affairs Officer)
Recognition and Awards
Mr. Gregory S. Foran (Chief Exec. Officer)
Mr. Richard Thomson B.Com., L.L.B. (Chief Financial Officer)
Ms. Alexandria Panot Marren (Chief Operating Officer)