air mails of new zealand

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THE OVERSEAS FLIGHTS


1981, 1 January

AUCKLAND-TOKYO AND RETURN

An Air NZ Boeing 737 (Captain G. Forbes) inaugurated a twice weekly service.


1981, 2 March

AUCKLAND-TOKYO

Air NZ introduced the Douglas DC-10 on the Auckland-Nandi-Tokyo route.


1981, 28 March

50th ANNIVERSARY RE-ENACTMENT

Of Francis Chichester's epic solo flight from New Zealand to Australia via Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands in 1931. Souvenir covers were cancelled with a special postmark at Auckland and were backstamped at Norfolk Is. and Sydney.


1981, 11-17 June

AIR NZ INTRODUCED THE BOEING 747s

To its trans-Tasman services Boeing 747 ZK-NZW worked all flights.

11 June: Auckland-Sydney & return
12 June: Auckland-Melbourne & return
14 June: Auckland-Brisbane & return
15 June: Christchurch-Sydney & return



1981, 20 June

AUCKLAND-SINGAPORE AND RETURN

The first Air NZ Boeing 747 flight on this service was made by ZK-NZW on Flight TE27 from Auckland and TE26 from Singapore.


1981, 30 June

OFFICIAL OPENING OF INIA WILLIAM TUUTA MEMORIAL AIRPORT

(Waitangi Airport) in the Chatham Islands. The first official landing of an aircraft carrying passengers and mail from N.Z. was made by SAFE Air Bristol Freighter ZK-CLT. A commemorative postmark was used at the Waitangi Post Office to cancel mail flown to N.Z.


1981, 1-17 July

AIR NZ SERVICE INTRODUCED THE BOEING 747

On its trans Pacific routes. No cachets or special postmarks were used. All flights were made by NZ-NZX.

1 July: Auckland-Nandi
11 July: Auckland-Honolulu
17 July: Nandi-Auckland



1981, 22 July

CHRISTCHURCH-ANTARCTICA AND RETURN

USAF Lockheed C-141B Starlifter 66-128 left Christchurch and overflew McMurdo and South Pole Stations on a mid-winter air drop of supplies and mail before returning to Christchurch. Included in the mail were 244 special covers with printed NZFPO cachets.

Internal Flights: 1981, 17 Aug. / 1981, 29 Aug. / 1981, 21-28 Sept. / 1981, 12 Nov. / 1981, 10 Dec.


1982, 15 January

25th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST ANTARCTIC FLIGHT

Of Beaver NZ60O1 of the RNZAF Antarctic Flight. This mail was flown back to Christchurch as freight on LC-130 XD 03 (Lt Cdr G.R. Hartzell) on 21 January, 1982. Covers were postmarked SCOTT BASE 15 JAN 821 ROSS DEPENDENCY.


1982, 2 April

TOKYO-AUCKLAND FLIGHT

By Japan Air Lines (ML). Special covers with a pictorial cachet applied by the Tokyo Post Office and postmarked 2 April were backstamped AUCKLAND 6 APR 82


1982, 16 June

CHRISTCHURCH-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURN

The N.Z. Government granted the contract for this service to SAFE Air Ltd which used Hawker Siddeley HS.650 Argosy ZK-SAF to carry passengers and mail.


1982, 2 August

WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURN

SAFE Air Ltd H.S.650 Argosy service commenced with ZK-SAF, alternating between Christchurch and Wellington.


1982, 25 August

AUCKLAND TO LONDON AIRPORT (Gatwick) AND VICE VERSA

Regular service by Air NZ. The first all-Air NZ Douglas DC-10 service to the U.K. Air NZ produced a souvenir cover depicting a British Guardsman, and the Chief Post Office, Auckland used a special illustrated postmark to cancel mail. Covers were backstamped LONDON FS. 26 AUG 7.3AM by machine which included a 7-wavy line obliterator plate.

NOTE: Some covers were reported to have been mislaid in the U.K. postal system. Replacement covers (but not the "Guardsman" design) were printed in N.Z. and were postmarked with the Auckland special postmark. Air NZ then flew these to London where they were backstamped LONDON FS. -81 contained in an inner and outer circle with 26AU-82 in the centre and no wavy lines.



1982, 3 November

AUCKLAND-PAPUA NEW GUINEA-HONG KONG

Air NZ changed its route to include Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) in the service when a tripartite agreement between Air NZ, Cathay Pacific Airlines and Air Niugini was signed, allowing the companies to operate the route on three-monthly schedules. The Air NZ service was worked with Boeing 747s.

Auckland-Port Moresby, PNG
Auckland-Port Moresby-Hong Kong
Hong Kong-Port Moresby
Hong Kong-Port Moresby-Auckland



1982, 4 November

ADELAIDE-AUCKLAND AND RETURN

Service inaugurated by QANTAS with Boeing 747 VH-EBB "City of Melbourne" (Captain David Crapp). The return flight was made on the same day. A special postmark was used at Adelaide and covers were backstamped at Auckland on 4 November.

Internal Flights: 1982, 18 Dec. / 1982, 18 Dec.


1983, 8 January

CHRISTCHURCH-HOBART AND RETURN

Air NZ Boeing 737 ZK-NAR (Captain A. Macauley) inaugurated a weekly service.


1983, 21 February

AUCKLAND-PITCAIRN ISLAND

First Official Air Drop. Lockheed C-130H Hercules NZ7004 (Squadron Leader T.K. Butler) of No 40 Squadron, RNZAF left Whenuapai Base Auckland, carrying supplies and mail which included special souvenir covers postmarked AUCKLAND 16 February 83. After being dropped the covers were struck with the single-circle Pitcairn Island handstamp dated 21 February.

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1983, 4 May

AUCKLAND-PAPUA NEW GUINEA-HONG KONG

Cathay Pacific Airways took over the route from Air New Zealand for a three-monthly period under the tripartite agreement. The service was flown by Boeing 747-267B VR-HIE.

Internal Flights: 1983, 1 Dec. / 1983, 12 Dec. / 1983, 18 Dec.


1984, 1 April

AUCKLAND-LOS ANGELES

Air New Zealand commenced a non-stop trans-Pacific service as the first sector of the "One Stop" service from Auckland to London. Boeing 747 ZK-NZY flew the first service on this route.


1984, 2-3 April

WELLINGTON-NUKUALOFA-APIA

And Wellington-Rarotonga-Nandi-Papeete. Two new Air NZ services were to have begun on the 2 and 3 April but were cancelled at very short notice. Mail received at the General Post Office, Wellington had been postmarked with special datestamps for either flight, but as the flights did not take place, each cover was struck with a SERVICE CANCELLED cachet and was sent to the addressee by other means. A small printing of approximately 200 souvenir covers had been prepared by Air NZ and was included in the mail.


1984, 11 April

50th ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST OFFICIAL TRANS-TASMAN

Air mail, flown by Charles T.P. Ulm in the Avro Ten VH-UXX "Faith in Australia" in 1934. Souvenir covers and commemorative postage stamps were issued by the Australian Post Office and a special postmark was used at the Chief Post Office, Auckland for the return flight mail. Covers from Australia were postmarked RAAF RICHMOND 11 APR 1984 and covers from N.Z. were backstamped SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 14 APR 1984.

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1984, 15 August

AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND FLIGHT BY RAAF

Canberra B.20 A84-240 (Squadron Leader Neil Williamson) from RAAF Richmond to RNZAF Base, Ohakea. It carried a small unofficial mail and covers were signed by RAAF and RNZAF crew members.


1984, 18 September

CHRISTCHURCH-McMURDO SOUND AND RETURN

Medical emergency flight by Lockheed Hercules of No 40 Squadron, RNZAF to pick up an ill member of the staff at Scott Base. Owing to the short notice of the flight, only a small mail was carded including approximately 20 covers postmarked LOOSE LETTER, CHRISTCHURCH. A rubber-stamp cachet reading MEDICAL EMERGENCY - FLIGHT 16.9.84- Christchurch to Antarctica' was privately applied. The "Weddell Seal" cachet was struck on mail at Scott Base.

Christchurch-McMurdo Emergency flight



1984, 23 September

AUCKLAND-NORFOLK ISLAND SERVICE

Air NZ replaced the Friendships with Boeing 737s, ZK-NAR making the first flight on 23 September.

Internal Flights: 1984, 6 Nov. / 1984, 16 Dec.
Internal Flight: 1985, 12 Feb.


1985, 19 March

AUCKLAND-PITCAIRN ISLAND

Official Air Drop by Lockheed P-3B Orion of No 5 Squadron, RNZAF. Souvenir covers showing an Orion in flight were postmarked at Auckland on 18 March and bear a 70c Pitcairn postage stamp cancelled PITCAIRN ISLAND 23 MARCH 85.

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Internal Flight: 1985, 1 Apr.


1985, 15 May

50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ILL-FATED 1935 AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND JUBILEE FLIGHT

By Sir Charles Kingsford Smith in the "Southern Cross". Privately printed souvenir covers with silver vignette were postmarked at Cronulla on 15 May and flown on QANTAS scheduled service to Wellington and were backstamped 23 May 1985.

Internal Flight: 1985, 16-30 Aug.


1985, 29 August

SPECIAL "STAMPEX" AIR MAIL - CHRISTCHURCH-McMURDO SOUND, ANTARCTICA

Covers posted at the 1985 "Stampex" Philatelic Exhibition, Christchurch received a special datestamp showing a Lockheed C-130H Hercules and were later flown to McMurdo by Lockheed C-141B Starlifter 65-240 of the USAF. Covers were backstamped at Scott Base.

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1985, 10 September

SEATTLE-WELLINGTON DELIVERY FLIGHT

Of the first Air NZ Boeing 767-200 ER ZK-NBA "Aotearoa". The flight between Everett Field, Seattle and Nandi, Fiji was the longest by a 767 to that date. It was reported that a few unofficial letters were carried.


1985, 30 September

WELLINGTON-SYDNEY

Air NZ first trans Tasman service by Boeing 767 ZK-NBA "Aotearoa".


1985, 29 October

CHRISTCHURCH-LOS ANGELES INAUGURATION

Of Air NZ service by Boeing 747 ZK-NZV (Captain P.McA. Grundy, Captain RV. Dalziell). A special cover was produced by the South Island Publicity Association and a special postmark was used at the Chief Post Office, Christchurch.


1985, 29 October

CHRISTCHURCH-MELBOURNE

Air NZ introduced Boeing 767 ZK-NBA "Aotearoa" on this route, and produced special covers to mark the occasion.

Internal Flights: 1985, 17 Dec. / 1985, 30 Dec. / 1986, 16 Jan.


1986, 21 January

SEATTLE-CHRISTCHURCH

The first Air NZ Boeing 737-219 ZK-NAT (Captain B. Dunn, Captain M. Leefe) arrived at Christchurch Airport on a delivery flight from Boeing Field, Seattle, via San Francisco-Honolulu and Apia. Some unofficial mail may have been carried.


1986, 21 March

CAMPBELL ISLAND MAIL DROP

A Lockheed P-3B Orion of No 5 Squadron, RNZAF, dropped mail to the staff of the sub Antarctic Meteorological Station at Campbell Island.


1986, 5-7 April

LONDON-AUCKLAND AND RETURN

By British Airways BAe/Aeropatiale Concorde G-BOAB. During the flight from Heathrow Airport the aircraft was piloted variously by Captains J.W. Burton, J.L Chorley, J.C. Hutchinson, J.D. Cook and N.A. Britton. British Airways produced a souvenir cover, postmarked at London on 5 April and struck with a cachet showing a lamb. Covers carried on the return flight were postmarked at Auckland on 7 April and were struck with a cachet depicting a Maori carving.


1986, 22 April

CAMPBELL ISLAND MAIL DROP

By Lockheed P-3B Orion (Flight lieutenant D. Whitaker) of No 5 Squadron, RNZAF.


1986, 21-29 June

AUCKLAND-FUKUOKA, JAPAN

Special flight by Air NZ Boeing 747 to celebrate Japan Week at Auckland's "Sister City". Official letters were sent to Japanese dignitaries from Auckland.


1986, 8 October

CHRISTCHURCH-SINGAPORE SERVICE

Inaugurated by Singapore Airlines with Boeing 747-200B 9V-SQO. A small mail, including souvenir covers, was flown from Christchurch and was backstamped at Singapore on 9 October.


1986, 31 October

CHRISTCHURCH-LONDON

First flight by British Airways Boeing 747-36 G-AWNB. Privately produced souvenir covers were postmarked at Christchurch on 31 October and were backstamped at London F.S. (Foreign Section) on 3 November.

Internal Flights: 1986, 19 Nov. / 1987, 10 Feb.


1987, 26 February

AUCKLAND-PITCAIRN ISLAND AIR DROP

By Lockheed C-130 Hercules of No 44) Squadron, RNZAF. Mail included souvenir covers postmarked at Auckland on 26 Feb. and Pitcairn Island on 2 March.

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1987, 23-28 March

SINGAPORE-CHRISTCHURCH-THE LAST GREAT AIR RACE

Air NZ Douglas DC-8-54F ZK-NZD (Captain WJ. Woodham) won Line Honours and came third in the Handicap Section. 300 souvenir covers bearing the Christchurch Airport Jubilee postmark were flown to Singapore where they were postmarked 28 March 1987. The covers were placed on board the DC-8 ZK-NZD as it took part in the Air Race and were certified and signed on the reverse by the crew.

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Internal Flights: 1987, 27 Mar. / 1987, 25 July / 1987, 21 Sept.


1987, 28 October

AUCKLAND-DALLAS FORT WORTH

First flight by Air NZ by Boeing 747. Mail included 500 souvenir covers cancelled with the pictorial PHILATELIC SALES CENTRE-AUCKLAND N.Z.-280C87.1 postmark and the DALLAS FT WORTH TX postmark of 290C 41987 AM.

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1987, 30-31 October-2 November

AUCKLAND TO FRANKFURT-AM-MAIN AND VICE VERSA

By Air NZ Boeing 747 ZK.NZX via Honolulu and Los Angeles. 500 souvenir covers were cancelled at the Philatelic Centre, Auckland on 30 October and were backstamped by the Frankfurt Air NZ Meterpost frank on 31 October. A pictorial flight cachet was applied to covers. Those carried on the Frankfurt-am-Main to Auckland first flight bear a large oval pictorial postmark dated 31.10.1987 and an Air NZ flight cachet and are backstamped AK.INTERNAT AIRPORT P.O.-2N087.1.

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1987, 30 October

FRANKFURT-AM-MAIN TO AUCKLAND

Lufthansa and Air NZ joint service (Flt Nos LH69 & TEO18) Mail included souvenir cards postmarked at Christchurch on 3 November, showing a mob of sheep. A triangular cachet was struck on the cards, reading -LUFTHANSA FIRST FLIGHT - B747 LH6999 AUCKLAND-FRANKFURT 30 OCT 87. A four-line cachet on the reverse, reads LUFTHANSA INAUGURAL FLIGHT -FRANKFURT-AUCKLAND 30-10-87 - ONFORWARDED TO CHRISTCHURCH FOR - POSTMARKING ON ARRIVAL 03-11-87.

Internal Flights: 1988, 6 Jan. / 1988, 7-9 Mar.


1988, 31 March

CHRISTCHURCH-ADELAIDE "AF-ROPEX 88" GOODWILL MAIL

Souvenir covers postmarked at the Christchurch Philatelic Centre on 31 March 1988 were flown between "sister cities" to honour the "AEROPEX 88"Exhibition in Adelaide.


1988, 10 September

SYDNEY-CHRISTCHURCH

60th Anniversary of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's first trans-Tasman flight. The Christchurch firm of Stirling & Company produced a miniature cinderella sheet of four stamps showing an unaccepted essay of a 1932 air stamp. This sheet was used on souvenir covers flown from Sydney to Christchurch by the scheduled service on this date.

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Internal Flight: 1988, 17 Sept.


1988, 13 October

60th ANNIVERSARY OF CHARLES KINGSFORD

Smith's first flight from Blenheim-Sydney in the "Southern Cross". Stirling & Company produced a miniature cinderella sheet showing an essay of an unaccepted 1932 air stamp and souvenir covers with this sheet affixed were postmarked WOODBOURNE NZ AIR FORCE 13 OC 88 (Blenheim) and were flown by scheduled service from Christchurch International Airport to Sydney and backstamped RICHMOND NSW AUST 130C 88.

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1988, 6 November

AUCKLAND-DENPASAR, BALI SERVICE

Inaugurated by Garuda Indonesian Airlines Douglas DC-10-30 PK-GIE (Captain Tardan). Mail included souvenir covers posted in Christchurch on 4 November and backstamped at Santria, Bali on 6 November.

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Internal Flight: 1988, 6 Nov.


1988, 7 November

SINGAPORE-CHRISTCHURCH

Inaugural Air NZ flight by Boeing 747 ZK-NBB (Flt.TEO28)Souvenir covers were postmarked at Singapore on 7 November and again at Christchurch on the 8th.

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1988, 30 November

CHRISTCHURCH-TOKYO SERVICE

Inaugurated by Japan Air Lines (JAL) Mail included souvenir covers postmarked CHRISTCHURCH 28 NO 88.1 and backstamped at Tokyo 30 November.


1988, 17 December

AUCKLAND-CAIRNS

Weekly service inaugurated by Air NZ Boeing 767-219, ZK-NBE.


1989, 22 March

AUCKLAND-DALLAS FORT WORTH LAST FLIGHT

This service, which Air NZ had commenced on 28 October 1987 terminated on 22 March when a Boeing 767 worked the route.


1989, 27 March

TOKYO-CHRISTCHURCH

Air NZ inaugurated a non-stop service using Boeing 747 ZK-NZY. A pictorial postmark was applied to souvenir covers on 27 March and they were backstamped at Christchurch on the 28th.

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1989, 2 April

CHRISTCHURCH-PERTH DIRECT SERVICE

Inaugurated by Air NZ Boeing 767 ZK-NBA on 2 April. Special covers were postmarked at Christchurch on 31 March and backstamped at Perth on 3 April.

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1989, 12 April

CHRISTCHURCH-SYDNEY-LONDON CONCORDE FLIGHT

During its world cruise, British Airways Concorde G-BOAF landed at Christchurch International Airport, where it was displayed from 9-12 April. Visitors inspecting the aircraft were presented with a large self-adhesive vignette. The Concorde left Christchurch on 12 April for Sydney and London. A special mail was flown to Sydney, including British Airways envelopes with the vignette affixed, and postmarked CHRISTCHURCH 12AP89. They were backstamped at Sydney International Airport on the same date. Special covers were also produced by British Airways and were flown to London where they received an arrival cachet dated 23 April.

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1989, 10 October

CHRISTCHURCH-SYDNEY FLIGHT

By British Airways Concorde G-BOAD. Members of the public inspecting the aircraft were presented with a similar triangular self-adhesive vignette to that of the 23 April visit. When the Concorde left Christchurch International Airport on 10 October, it carried covers to which the vignette had been affixed and bore a British Airways Concorde flight cachet. These covers were postmarked at Christchurch Airport on the 10th and were backstamped at Sydney International Airport on the same day.


1990, 2 March-7 April

AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND-AUSTRALIA

Flight by the replica "Southern Cross" VH-USU crewed by Tony Mooy. Keith McCoy and Colin Watt. Sponsored by Australian business, the aircraft was built to the same specifications as the original "Southern Cross". It flew across the Tasman Sea via Norfolk Island and also landed there on the return flight to Australia. During its New Zealand tour the replica visited 22 airfields and flew over 66 centres. 200 souvenir covers with cachets were flown on each stage and backstamps were applied as appropriate. The Australia & NZ Bank also produced covers which were flown Australia-N.Z.-Australia.

Australia-Norfolk Is.-New Zealand
New Zealand-Norfolk Is.-Australia
Australia-New Zealand-Australia ANZ Bank cover



1990, 22-24 August

BUCHAREST-AUCKLAND SPECIAL AIR MAIL

Flown by TAROM (Romanian Air Transport) Boeing 707 (Flt No R0313 Bucharest-Singapore) and Air NZ Boeing 767 ZK-NBB (Fit. No TE026 Singapore-Auckland) to honour the 1990 World Stamp Exhibition being held in Auckland. 1,000 special souvenir covers cancelled by special postmark at Bucharest on 21 August and were backstamped WORLD STAMP EXHIBITION AUCKLAND - 25 AUGUST 1990.


1990, 3 November

CHRISTCHURCH-NORFOLK ISLAND

Weekly service inaugurated by Air NZ Boeing 737 ZKNAW (Captain C. Regnault) in the flight time of 2 hrs 45 minutes. A small mail, some of which bore a privately-produced cachet, was carried. The return flight was made the same day but covers were not backstamped at Christchurch until 5 November.

Internal Flight: 1990, 6 Dec. / 1991, 22 Jan.



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The information used on this site has been sourced
from the following three publications:


"THE AIR MAILS OF NEW ZEALAND, Volume One,
THE INTERNAL FLIGHTS"
(1897-1955)
by DOUGLAS A. WALKER

"AIRMAILS OF NEW ZEALAND, Volume Two,
THE OVERSEAS FLIGHTS
1928-1940"
by DOUGLAS A. WALKER

"THE NEW ZEALAND AIRMAIL CATALOGUE" Third Edition, 2009
(editor: Mike Shand) Author JAMES A. STAPLETON


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO THE PUBLISHER

Kind permission for their material to be used on this website
has been granted by:

THE AIR MAIL SOCIETY OF NEW ZEALAND Inc,
Box 29-144, Fendalton,
Christchurch,
New Zealand

Air Mail Society of New Zealand website

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