A birthday slipped by largely unnoticed and unmarked yesterday. Air New Zealand turned 80. The airline was founded on 26 April 1940. It wasn’t called Air New Zealand back then. Instead, the airline was known as Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL). The end of the line carrier has come a long way since. But it’s unlikely there was a big birthday bash in Auckland over the weekend. These are tough times for Air New Zealand as it battles the viral headwinds of 2020.
A birthday the airline won’t forget – for all the wrong reasons
The airline’s 80th birthday will be remembered as a time of turbulent and unscheduled change. At home, the airline commands an 80% plus market share on domestic routes. Abroad, Air New Zealand has built a reputation for innovative products like the SkyCouch, interesting routes, and a great soft product. The airline’s profitability did drop 31% in 2019, prompting a cost and efficiency review, but overall it has been a sunny decade for the Auckland based airline.