THE OVERSEAS FLIGHTS
1971, 27 April
CAMPBELL ISLANDSub-Antarctic base air drop by a Lockheed Orion of No 5 Squadron, RNZAF, while on a normal fisheries surveillance patrol. The aircraft operated from Christchurch Airport.
1971, 17 June
CAMPBELL ISLANDSub-antarctic base airdrop by Lockheed Orion of No 5 Squadron, RNZAF, operating from the Christchurch Airport. Mail for base staff dropped.
1971, 25 June
CAMPBELL ISLANDSub-antarctic base air drop of mail by Lockheed Orion NZ4203 of No 5 Squadron, RNZAF. The aircraft was operating a normal fisheries surveillance patrol from Christchurch Airport.
1971, 1 October
CAMPBELL ISLANDSub-antarctic base air drop of mail by Lockheed Orion of No 5 Squadron, RNZAF while on fisheries surveillance patrol from Christchurch Airport.
1972, 1-4 June
AIR NEW ZEALAND COMMENCED DOUGLAS DC-8 FLIGHTSThrough Wellington Airport:
1972, 3, 8 December
QANTAS INTRODUCED THE BOEING 747BTo the Tasman routes, Sydney-Christchurch-Sydney and Sydney-Auckland-Sydney. All these first flights were worked by VH-EBA.
1973, 3 February
AUCKLAND-SYDNEY AND RETURNAir New Zealand introduced the Douglas DC-10 "Tri-Jet" ZK-NZL on the trans-Tasman service. Souvenir covers were prepared by Air NZ for the flight and a special datestamp was used at the Chief Post Office, Auckland.
1973, 7 February
AUCKLAND-NANDIAir New Zealand inaugurated its Douglas DC-10 service to Fiji but carried no mail on the outward flight. DC-10 ZK-NZL worked this service. On the return flight one bag of mail containing letters postmarked NADI AIRPORT FIJI 7 FEB 73 was carried to Auckland and backstamped on the 8th. Mail from N.Z to Fiji was not flown on this service until 13 February.
1973, 13 March
AUCKLAND-NANDIAir New Zealand began carrying mail by Douglas DC-10 on this route when "Tri-Jet" ZK-NZG inaugurated the service. Covers postmarked AUCKLAND F.M.B. 13 MR 73.6PM were backstamped NADI AIRPORT-FIJI 13 MR.
1973, 2 April
AUCKLAND-NANDI-HONOLULU-LOS ANGELESAir NZ Douglas DC-b "Tri-Jet" ZK-NZL (Captain LR. Gemmell) inaugurated this service. A large rectangular special postmark was applied at Auckland on 2 April and covers were backstamped on the same date at Los Angeles Air Mail Facility. The first Air NZ mail from Nandi to Honolulu and Los Angeles was postmarked on the 5th, backstamped Honolulu on the same date and at Los Angeles on 6 April.
1973, 23 April
CHRISTCHURCH-LOS ANGELESAir NZ Douglas DC-10 "Tri-Jet" commenced this service.
1973, 24 July
AIRCRAFT HIJACKEDJapan Air Lines Boeing 747 JA-8109 was hijacked and destroyed by terrorist bombs at Benghazi Airport, Libya. Mails which were recovered in a charred condition received a cachet and were forwarded to the addressees with a letter of explanation. Letters for N.Z. had been posted in Amsterdam up to 2 June.<6
1973, 29 October
AUCKLAND-PAPEETE AND RETURNBy Air NZ Douglas DC-10 "Tri-Jet", Covers postmarked Auckland on 28 October were backstamped Papeete on the 29th and those cancelled at Papeete on the 27th were backstamped at Auckland on the 28th.
1973, 30 October
AUCKLAND-SINGAPORE AND RETURNBy Air NZ Douglas DC-10 "Tri-Jet" service. Covers from N.Z. were backstamped SINGAPORE 31OCT73.
1973, 2 November
MELBOURNE-AUCKLANDFirst service by Air NZ Douglas DC-10 "Tri-Jet" ZK-NZM.
1973, 2 December
AUCKLAND-RAROTONGA & RETURNService by Air NZ Douglas DC-8 ZK-NZM. A large pictorial postmark was struck on outward mail at the Chief Post Office, Auckland on 2 December, and mail was backstamped at Rarotonga, 1 December, the International Date Line intervening.
1974, 30 January
ROYAL FLIGHTAir NZ Douglas DC-8 ZK-NZC (Captain R.T. Johnson) brought H.M. The Queen,
1974, 4 April
CHRISTCHURCH-NANDI AND RETURNAir NZ Douglas DC-8 service with ZK-NZE.
1974, 25 May
TONGA-AUCKLAND AND RETURNAir Pacific BAC One-Eleven DQ-FBY (Captain N. Ganley) inaugurated a regular service. 18kg of mail was carried on this flight.
CHRISTCHURCH-WILLIAMS FIELD, McMURDO SOUND-CHRISTCHURCHSupply flights by Lockheed C-130H of No 40 Squadron, RNZAF. The Squadron flew personnel, supplies and mail to and from the NZARP Scott Base in a programme of flights each season. In 1974 a series of "Operation Icecube 10" special covers was carried on different flights and this project was continued annually until "Operation Icecube 16" (1980, Nov. Dec.) Dates shown are from postmarks of the covers posted at Christchurch or Scott Base.
1975, 2-5 April
BRISBANE-CHRISTCHURCH AND RETURN SERVICEInaugurated by QANTAS Boeing 747-238B VH-EBH "City of Newcastle" (Captain Neil Anderson). Covers from Brisbane were backstamped on the 2nd. There was no official mail carried on the return flight from Christchurch on the 5th, but some unofficial souvenir covers were carried and were backstamped by QANTAS.
1975, 7 April
CHRISTCHURCH-BRISBANEDOUGLAS DC-10 service inaugurated by Air NZ. Covers postmarked CHRISTCHURCH -7AP 7511-AM were backstamped at Brisbane on the 8th.
1975, 25 April
CHRISTCHURCH-NANDIAir NZ replaced the Douglas DC-8 with a Douglas DC-b service. Privately printed souvenir covers postmarked CHRISTCHURCH 25 AP 75 were flown.
1975, 7-9 May
AUCKLAND-LONDONVia Los Angeles Douglas DC-10 "Tri-Jet" service inaugurated by ZK-NZQ of Air NZ. Flight numbers were TE556 from Auckland to Los Angeles and BA598 from Los Angeles to London.
1975, 1 June
AUCKLAND-NORFOLK ISLANDQANTAS Douglas DC-4 VH-EDA "Pacific Trader" (Captain W. Tainton) carried out the last flight of the service, under charter to Air NZ.
1975, 4 June
AUCKLAND-NORFOLK ISLAND AND RETURN FLIGHTBy NZNAC F27-500 Friendship ZK-NAN under charter to Air New Zealand.
1975, 8 July
25 YEARS OF NO 40 SQUADRON RNZAFTo mark the anniversary, five special covers were posted at Whenuapai Air Force Post Office on this date and were subsequently flown on various operations.
CHRISTCHURCH-WILLIAMS FIELD, MCMURDO SOUND-CHRISTCHURCHSupply flights by Lockheed C-130H of No 40 Squadron, RNZAF. (See 1974, Nov.-Dec.)
1976, 9-12 January
RAROTONGA-AUCKLAND AND VICE VERSAAir NZ first mail flight by Douglas DC-10 ZK-NZQ from the Cook Islands was made on 9 January but the first Auckland-Rarotonga flight did not take place until 12 January.
1976, 7 March
AUCKLAND-SINGAPORE AND RETURNFirst Non-Stop Air NZ Douglas DC-10 service.
CHRISTCHURCH-WILLIAMS FIELD, McMURDO SOUND-CHRISTCHURCH"Operation Icecube 12" flights by No 40 Squadron, RNZAF. (See 1974, Nov.-Dec.)
1977, 15 February
ANTARCTIC TOURIST OVERFLIGHTBy Air NZ Douglas DC-10 ZK-NZN (Captain LH. Gemmell) from Auckland to McMurdo Sound and return to Auckland via Christchurch, The flight was organised by Star Travel of Dunedin in association with Trans Tours and carried a full complement of 233 passengers and a large special mail which had been sent to Trans Tours office in Christchurch. Covers were struck with a large cachet in blue although some were struck in purple and a few in black. Covers were flown to Auckland to connect with the flight and on the return of the DC-10 were backstamped CHRISTCHURCH N.Z.-15 FE 77.2.
1977, 22 February
THE SECOND AIR NEW ZEALAND ANTARCTIC TOURIST FLIGHTWas made by Douglas DC-10 ZK-NZS (Captain P.McA. Grundy) and carried a full list of 233 passengers with Sir Edmund Hillary as tour commentator. No official mail was flown but some covers were carried by courtesy and machine postmarked after the flight CHRISTCHURCH N.Z. - AIRMAIL 11.45PM 22 FEB -1977
CHRISTCHURCH-WILLIAMS FIELD, McMURDO SOUND-CHRISTCHURCH"Operation Icecube 13" by No 40 Squadron, RNZAF (See 1974, Nov.-Dec.)
1978, 24-27 February
APIA-AUCKLAND AND VICE VERSABoeing 737 service commenced jointly by Air NZ and Polynesian Airlines. All services were flown by Boeing 747 ZK-NAP. Covers postmarked Apia on 24 February were backstamped at Auckland on the 25th and have a circular cachet reading FIRST FUGHT - POLYNESIAN AIRLINES BOEING 737 -APIA TO AUCKLAND. The return flight covers were postmarked at Auckland on 27 February and backstamped at Apia the same day.
1978, 1-2 April
AUCKLAND-HONG KONG NON-STOPTwice weekly service commenced by Air New Zealand using the Douglas DC-10. This replaced the previous Auckland-Singapore-Hong Kong service.
1978, 19-27 April
SYDNEY-AUCKLAND-CHRISTCHURCH(Adelaide) flown First Day of Issue Covers of Australian miniature sheet honouring their pioneer airmen. Large special covers franked with the miniature sheet postmarked Sydney International Airport-and flown to Auckland by Air New Zealand and signed by crew. Covers then flown Auckland-Christchurch (Adelaide) by QANTAS. Similar covers were flown only by QANTAS and signed by their crew.
1978, 9-10 September
WIGRAM-SYDNEY-WIGRAMDouble trans-Tasman flight by Cliff Tait piloting a Fletcher FU-24-950 ZK-USU solo during the Christchurch commemoration of Kingsford Smith's first Sydney to Christchurch flight in 1928. Special covers issued by the Hornby Centennial Committee were postmarked CHRISTCHURCH 9 SP 78 and backstamped WIGRAM 10 SEPT 1978. 1600 covers were flown.
1978, 10 September
SYDNEY-CHRISTCHURCH UNOFFICIAL MAILCommemorating the 50th Anniversary of Kingsford Smith's first trans-Tasman flight from Sydney to Christchurch. Mail was carried by courtesy on QANTAS Flight QFSS1 and the 250 special covers were backstamped Christchurch Airport, 10 September, 1978.
1978, 11 September
CHRISTCHURCH-SYDNEY COMMEMORATIVEMail flown by Air NZ from Christchurch-Sydney marking the 50th Anniversary of Kingsford Smith's first trans Tasman crossing. Souvenir covers were carded on the scheduled service which diverted to fly over Blenheim, the take-off point of the "Southern Cross" on the return flight.
1978, 13 October
BLENHEIM-CHRISTCHURCH-SYDNEY50th Anniversary of Charles Kingsford Smith's return trans Tasman flight from Blenheim to Sydney. A large oval postmark was used at the Chief Post Office, Blenheim, and mail was flown to Christchurch where it was transferred to Air NZ Douglas DC-10 ZK-NZN on the regular scheduled flight to Sydney. The DC-10 diverted to fly over Blenheim before heading across the Tasman Sea.
1978, 7, 14, 21, 28 November
ANTARCTIC TOURIST OVERFLIGHTSBy Air NZ Douglas DC-10. The route was from Auckland to the sub- Antarctic Islands to McMurdo Sound and return without landing. Souvenir Silk covers, postmarked at Auckland, but carried unofficially by couriers on each flight were backstamped on return with the AIR NEW ZEALAND TRAFFIC OFFICE cachet of the appropriate date. Sheets of six Antarctic vignettes were also issued and many covers have one of these vignettes affixed, while other covers have a large round "Penguin" cachet.
CHRISTCHURCH-WILLIAMS FIELD, McMURDO SOUND-CHRISTCHURCHAntarctic "Operation Icecube 14" supply flights by No 44) Squadron RNZAF (See 1974, Nov.-Dec.)
1979, 1-3 May
LOS ANGELES-AUCKLAND TRANS-PACIFIC SERVICEInaugurated by Continental Airlines DC-10 N68048 from Los Angles-Honolulu and then splitting into twin routes to Pago Pago-Sydney and to Nandi-Auckland-Sydney. A cachet was supplied to the Los Angeles Post Office by the Airline for use on philatelic covers on the first flights.
1979, 28 November
CRASH OF AIR NZ DOUGLAS DC-10 ZK-NZP(Captain J. Collins) on Mount Erebus in Antarctica. The DC-10 was on an Antarctic Tourist flight from Auckland and all 257 people aboard were killed. Unofficial mail was being carried by a courier, as on previous flights, and it is believed some covers may have been recovered.
VILA-AUCKLAND AND RETURNFirst Flight By Air Nauru
CHRISTCHURCH-WILLIAMS FIELD, McMURDO SOUND-CHRISTCHURCH"Operation Icecube 15" supply flights by No 40 Squadron RNZAF. (See 1974, Nov.-Dec.)
1979, 1 December
NAURU-AUCKLAND AND RETURNFirst flight by Air Nauru
HONIARA-AUCKLAND AND VICE VERSAInaugural flights by Air Nauru.
1980, 7-8 June
BUENOS AIRES-AUCKLAND-HONG KONGAnd return by Aerolineas Argentinas Boeing 747-200 "Jumbo Jet" LV-MLR, making its first commercial flight to N.Z. A commemorative postmark was used at Buenos Aires and some covers have a large four-line cachet in green, reading -'Vuelo Inaugural Transantarctica-BUENOS AIRES-AUCKLAND for HONG KONG-AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS'. Only philatelic mail was carried.
1980, 5-8 July
TOKYO-NANDI-AUCKLAND AND RETURNInaugural flight by Japan Air Lines (JAL) Douglas DC-8-62 JA-8037 "Yashima" (Captain M. Miyamoto). 34 bags of mail weighing 348kg, which included 1,600 souvenir covers, were flown from Tokyo. On the return flight on the 8th, mail weighing 92kg was carried. This was also the first JAL Tokyo-Nandi flight and covers for Fiji were backstamped NADI 5 JULY 1980.
1980, 1-3 August
AUCKLAND-TOKYOAir NZ inaugural service by Douglas DC-8 ZK-NZC. The return flight left Tokyo on 2 August. Covers postmarked Auckland 1 August were backstamped TOKYO AP JAPAN WIII 80. Special covers were provided by Air NZ and by private collectors on both flights. Passengers were also presented by Air NZ with a flown cover in a commemorative folder.
1980, 3 August
TOKYO-NANDI-AUCKLANDInaugural Douglas DC-10 service by Japan Air Lines. 34 Bags of mail weighing 342kg were flown. The mail, which was struck with round illustrated cachet, included privately produced covers plus 1,500 souvenir envelopes.
1980. 27-30 October
BUCHAREST-SINGAPORE-AUCKLANDTo mark the 75th Anniversary of the foundation of the FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) special covers were flown by TAROM (Transporturi Aeriene Romine - Romanian Air Transport) from Bucharest-Singapore and by Singapore Airlines Douglas DC-10 9V-SDD from Singapore-Auckland.
1980, 29 November
BUENOS AIRES-AUCKLANDAerolineas Argentinas second commercial flight on the Buenos Aires-Auckland-Hong Kong service Boeing 747-287B LV-OHV carried special mail on which a four-line cachet was struck on private covers, together with a distinctive postmark.
CHRISTCHURCH-WILLIAMS FIELD McMURDO SOUND-CHRISTCHURCH"Operation Icecube 16" supply flights by No 40 Squadron RNZAF. This was the final year of this series of covers (See 1974, Nov.-Dec.)
1980, 3 December
HOBART-CHRISTCHURCHHOBART SERVICE inaugurated by Boeing 727-277 VH-RML of Ansett Airways of Australia. A special cachet was applied at the Hobart C.P.O. and covers were backstamped at Christchurch 3 December. The return flight was made on the same day.