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Air New Zealand celebrates 75 years since first flight

Chief executive Christopher Luxon says the 75 years exhibition will transfer to the Auckland War Memorial Museum on November 20.

Nevil Gibson
Thu, 30 Apr 2015

The national airline is today celebrating the 75th anniversary of its first international commercial flight from Auckland to Sydney.

The Short S30 flying boat carried just nine passengers on the April 30, 1940, journey that lasted nine hours until it landed at Rose Bay in Sydney Harbour.

Air New Zealand was then known as TEAL, Tasman Empire Airlines, and today’s flight using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will take just over two hours and be dressed up for the occasion.

The airline says passengers will be treated to a 1940s-themed menu, a mid-air fashion show of the airline’s uniforms through the decades and other surprises.

Later in the day, a separate celebration will be held in Rose Bay.

Chief executive Christopher Luxon says the 75 years exhibition, at Te Papa national museum in Wellington, will transfer to the Auckland War Memorial Museum on November 20.

“The exhibition has proved a huge hit so far has attracted almost 250,000 visitors since it opened last December,” he says.

The exhibition dates have also been extended and it will remain in Wellington until July 26.

In addition, 75 passengers who book economy fares over the next two days have a chance of winning their fares back in a lucky dip competition.

The airline is also holding It’s in the Bag quizzes on main city and regional services with contestants and choosing between the “money” (Airpoints Dollars) or the “bag” (a mystery prize).

Nevil Gibson
Thu, 30 Apr 2015
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Air New Zealand celebrates 75 years since first flight
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