Tuesday, 9 December 2014

2015 75th Anniversary of Air New Zealand.

         Air New Zealand originated in 1940 as Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), a flying boat 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 mainly served international routes until 1978, when the government merged it and the domestic-orientated New Zealand National Airways Corporation (NAC) into a single airline under the Air New Zealand name.
        Air New Zealand was largely privatised in 1989, but returned to majority government ownership in 2001 after a failed tie up with Australian carrier Ansett Australia (when Ansett suffered financial issues and folded operations during that year).
        In November 2013, The Fifth National 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.
         Air New Zealand currently operates an international long-haul fleet consisting of mainly the Boeing 777 variant family, with Boeing 767-300 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft supplementing them. Airbus A320 aircraft operate on short-haul international routes (i.e. to Australia and the Pacific Islands), and on domestic routes alongside Boeing 737-300 airliners. 
        Air New Zealand's regional subsidiaries, Air Nelson, Eagle Airways, and Mount Cook Airline, operate additional short-haul New Zealand domestic services using turboprop aircraft.

In this post we are going to look at the five stamps from this anniversary issue, plus the First Day Cover and Miniature sheet. Also included is the stamp issued in 1990 to celebrate Air New Zealand's 50th Anniversary and other items of Air New Zealand Postal History. There have also been some other postal items and photographs added as well to further illustrate this historic event from our national airline, Air New Zealand.

1985 First Flight Christchurch to Los Angles, USA.
A 1985 postal stationery card with the special cancel of Christchurch designed for this special event. The aircraft shown is a Boeing 747.

1990 50th Anniversary of Air New Zealand.
First off is this one value issue marked Air New Zealand's 50th Anniversary.

Depicts the Short S.30 Empire-Class Flying Boat 'Aotearoa.' The flying boats were flown under the original airline name Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL). The other aircraft is of course the classic Boeing 747, the mainstay of Air New Zealand's fleet in 1990.

2015 75th Anniversary of Air New Zealand.

The issue came in a set of five value, large format stamps. There is a lot been put into the design of these stamps. When viewing them you first notice the very large photograph that takes most of the stamp except for an information bar on the left-hand side. This bar contains the title of this issue, '75 Years - Connecting New Zealand and the World.' 
On the right more information is printed over the photograph. First is a title of the photograph, then beside that is the usual 'New Zealand,' the year and of course the NZ Post fern. At the bottom is an overhead view of the aircraft shown in the photograph and the value in the corner

The First Flight - Auckland to Sydney.

80c - The first flight - Auckland to Sydney.
The Tasman opened up for air travel with TEAL’s inaugural service on 30 April 1940 when ZK-AMA Aotearoa, a Short S.30 flying boat, made the journey from Auckland to Sydney. It also marked the beginning of the first regular trans-Tasman mail delivery. With a flight time of over nine hours there were ten passengers on board, and the service was captained by WWI returned Air force Pilot John Burgess. Flight in this era was new and exciting but also limited to the wealthy and elite. Passengers went to great effort to look their best.

Aircraft: Short S.30 Empire Class (Short Bros. UK). Carried two pilots, one radio operator, two cabin crew, 19 passengers. Air speed 160mph. TEAL purchased two of these aircraft and they were operated in the fleet from 1940-1947.

1940 Inaugural Flight Auckland to Sydney.
Below are two covers that were on that first flight Auckland to Sydney. Above we are told that this flight took place on 30th April, 1940. Both covers were posted a few days before as First Day/Flight Covers so we can be sure they were on that first TEAL service. All the stamps were from the 1940 Centennial Issue. Notice the large purple strike saying that this flight was the beginning of a service going right through to England. Also of interest is that the photo on the stamp above is the same one on the covers below. Compare the positions of the propellers.

26th April, 1940. FDC Wellington to Sydney via Auckland - postage 5d.
         27th April, 1940. FDC Auckland to Sydney - postage 5d.

Travelling the Country with NAC.
$1.40 - Travelling the country with NAC.
NAC began flying on 1 April 1947. It would later become an exclusively domestic airline, performing the vital function of connecting New Zealand’s towns and cities. Locations as remote as Kaikohe, Westport and Invercargill were among its first destinations. In its early days, NAC also flew across the Pacific Ocean to Norfolk Island.

Aircraft: Kawatere New Zealand National Airways Corporation (NZNAC) Lockheed Lodestar aircraft. Carried two pilots, 15 passengers. Air speed 194 mph. Operated from 1947-1952 with 12 Lockheed Lodestar’s in the fleet.

NAC Lockheed Lodestar ZK-AJM.

Left above:- NAC Fokker F-27 Series 100 - NAC Colours.
Right above:- Boeing 737s in hybrid Air New Zealand and NAC livery.

Exploring the Pacific with TEAL.
$2.00 - Exploring the Pacific with TEAL.
The Coral Route began in 1951 and was a Pacific Island tour aboard the flying boats of the time. It featured stops at Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti and the Cook Islands, and was regarded as a highly glamorous affair of romance and indulgence. With it came vital air links for the Pacific’s outer islands. It provided transportation of medical supplies and opened trade opportunities as tourists visited with increasing frequency and numbers. The route had its origins in the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s transport services operated during WWII.

Aircraft: The inaugural route was operated by Aparima ZK-AMQ a Short S.45 Solent Mk III (Short Bros. UK). Carried two pilots, one radio operator, one navigator, one flight engineer, three cabin crew, 39 passengers. Air speed 190 mph. In the fleet from 1951-1954.

Sharing the Flying Experience.

$2.50 - Sharing the flying experience.
When NAC merged into Air New Zealand in 1978 it was the beginning of a uniquely Kiwi identity and service at a time when flight was becoming more accessible to everyday New Zealanders. Fleet changes and the advent of the wide-bodied jet, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, further broadened possibilities for travel and tourism. Air New Zealand took delivery of its first DC-10 in 1973. In the same year it introduced the Koru logo, which today is an inseparable part of its identity.

Aircraft: Douglas DC-10 Series 30 operated from 1973–1986. Carried two pilots, one flight engineer, 12 cabin crew, 268 passengers. Air speed 547 mph (880 kph).

Air New Zealand Douglas DC-10.                                               Air New Zealand Boeing 747.

From Now and into the Future.
$3.00 - From now and into the future.
Embracing New Zealand’s innovative spirit, Air New Zealand was the first airline in the world to take delivery of Boeing’s B787-9 in 2014. The technologically advanced aircraft uses 20 percent less fuel than similar aircraft, and demonstrates the incredible progression in flight since the early days of the flying boat. From commencing as an airline with one flight a week across the Tasman, there are now 58 services from New Zealand to Sydney each week and direct routes to 26 international destinations.

Aircraft: Boeing 787-9 is the newest addition to the fleet arriving in 2014. Carries 10 cabin crew, 302 passengers. Air speed 910 kph.

Do you know who these little girls are?  
Two of the stamps feature three young girls who the airline’s archivists have been unable to identify. The first stamp shows two young girls onboard an aircraft in 1977, while the second features a toddler holding the hand of National Airways Corporation’s (NAC) first ground hostess Margaret Gould in the late 1940s or early 1950s.
Air New Zealand’s head of global brand development, Jodi Williams, said through the archival process the airline learnt the children were probably relatives of former staff their identities remain a mystery.
“Our archival team and a group of volunteers have spent thousands of hours over the course of a year documenting historical footage and working to identify those who have featured in some of our older marketing campaigns, however, nowhere in our archives can we find the names of the little girls in the stamps. Having your face on a stamp is pretty special and generally only happens for famous New Zealanders. But these images were chosen for their strong link to not only Air New Zealand’s history but New Zealand’s history. We would love to hear from these three women and to be able to put names to the faces appearing in these iconic images.”

As part of this commemorative stamp issue, three unique collectables are available: a miniature sheet, a first day cover and a miniature sheet first day cover.
 The first day cover shows a classic 747 in the famous Air New Zealand blue / Teal colour scheme complete with the koru on the tail.
The koru is a Maori design taken from the unfolding of a frond of a native fern.
For more on the koru design see our post  2013 Matariki - The Koru.

The miniature sheet first day cover features the first six stewardesses to be employed by TEAL in 1946.

The miniature sheet features the iconic Air New Zealand koru – a part of its identity since 1973.

Technical Information.
Date of issue:
      14 January, 2015.
Number of stamps:
      Five gummed stamps.
      80c, $1.40, $2.00, $2.50 and $3.00.
Designed by:
      Insight Creative, Wellington, New Zealand.
Printer and process:
      Southern Colour Print Ltd.
Number of colours:
      Four process colours and  metallic silver.
Stamp size and format:
      52mm x 26.12mm (horizontal).
Paper type:
      Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed. 
Stamps per sheet:   
Perforation gauge:
      14.59 x 14.55.
Period of sale:
       14 Jan, 2015 until 13 January, 2016.

Information for this post came from.

 When I added those special First Flight Covers and photographs of NAZ and Air NZ aircraft. I have also deleted the comments Allan added down here.


  1. Good work Anne.
    I am beginning to like your style.
    I see that party pooper Allan is back with his comments. Tell him it's your post - butt out!

    1. Thanks JJ
      I also appreciate your comments.

    2. Yes I agree JJ.
      Allan always has an opinion on new issues. He is a party pooper. Its just Anne is too polite to say.
      Don't let him push you around Anne. Just say NO!

    3. Oh Anne, I see you finally deleted my comments. The extra photos you added helps to make up for this, it does not take-away from the fact that more could have been done with the stamps in this issue.
      You made a nice job here though.