Thursday, August 25, 2011
Air New Zealand Limited is the national airline and flag carrier of New Zealand. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, the airline operates scheduled passenger flights to 26 domestic destinations and 24 international destinations in 15 countries across Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania, and is currently the only airline to circumnavigate the world. Air New Zealand is a member of the Star Alliance global airline alliance, having joined in 1999.
Air New Zealand's route network focuses on Australasia and the South Pacific, with long-haul services to Asia, Europe and North America. The airline's main hub is Auckland Airport, located near Mangere in the southern part of the Auckland urban area. Air New Zealand is headquartered in a building called "The Hub", located 20 km (12 mi) away from Auckland Airport, in the Western Reclamation, central Auckland City.
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 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). As of 2008, Air New Zealand carries 11.7 million passengers annually.
New Zealand's national airline operates a long-haul fleet consisting of Boeing 747, Boeing 767, Boeing 777 and Airbus A320 aircraft on international routes. The carrier also utilises a fleet of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 airliners for short-haul operations. Air New Zealand's regional subsidiaries, Air Nelson, Eagle Airways, Mount Cook Airline, operate additional short-haul New Zealand domestic services. Air New Zealand was rated the eighth best airline in the world by Skytrax in 2009, and awarded Airline of the Year in 2010 by the Air Transport World Global Airline Awards