December 5th, 2014

The 75th anniversary of connecting New Zealand and the world


2015 marks the 75th anniversary of New Zealand's national airline and this stamp issue explores the role Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), National Airways Corporation (NAC) and Air New Zealand have played in connecting New Zealand and the world. According to info received by the issue consists of five stamps that are scheduled to be put into circulation on the 14th of January.

The Air New Zealand story began under the name of TEAL, with its first flight across the Tasman in 1940. This was a major milestone in New Zealand’s social history, as New Zealanders were no longer limited to their own shores and the days of lengthy journeys by sea were over. When NAC began flying in 1947, it vitally linked the breadth of domestic New Zealand, connecting friends, family and businesses across the country in a way never before deemed possible. In 1978 NAC merged into Air New Zealand and the combined network brought together international and domestic travel.

These commemorative stamps feature key milestones of flight over the past 75 years and each features an icon of the aircraft used at the time.

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 onboard, 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.

$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 Sea to Norfolk Island.

$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.

$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.

$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.

 75 Years - Connecting New Zealand and the World First Day Cover

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