New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

Air New Zealand

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Air New Zealand commemorated its 50th Anniversary in 1990. Commercial aviation in New Zealand began 50 years ago when 10 passengers travelled from Auckland to Australia in the flying boat, Aotearoa, of Tasman Empire Airways Ltd (TEAL). That journey took nine hours - the Air New Zealand trans -Tasman jets of today arrive in under three.

Issue information

The last of the flying boats flew for TEAL in 1960 by which time the airline had become totally New Zealand owned and had been operating land-based aircraft for six years. In 1965 the name TEAL disappeared, replaced by Air New Zealand, a more appropriate designation for a carrier spreading its wings to destinations outside the Australia/South Pacific market.

For almost 40 years TEAL and Air New Zealand flew only international routes but that changed in 1978 when the airline merged with the domestic New Zealand carrier, National Airways Corporation (NAC).  NAC was formed in 1947 out of the nationalisation of three airlines. NAC's identity disappeared with the amalgamation and its mixed fleet of Boeing 737s and propjet Fokker Friendships soon began sporting Air New Zealand colours. Today, the distinctive Koru, a stylish version of a Maori symbol, graces the tail of a fleet of international and domestic aircraft.

Product listing for Air New Zealand

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Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 80c 'Planes' gummed stamp.

This stamp commemorates the 50th Anniversary of Air New Zealand, the stamp depicts a Short S30 Empire-class flying boat and a Boeing 747-200 aircraft of the Air New Zealand fleet.

First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $1.05

Technical information

Date of issue: 17 January 1990
Designers: R Proud, Auckland
Printers: Joh Enschedé, Netherlands
Stamp size: 40mm x 28mm
Sheet size:  100 stamps per sheet
Process: Lithography
Perforation gauge: 13.25 x 14.25
Paper type: Red phosphor coated, unwatermarked
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 17 January 1991.