1980s Advertising

Ritz of the skies

In 1982, Air New Zealand earned the right to fly their comfortable new 747s to London. This became a very successful and profitable route for the airline and inspired the ‘Ritz of the skies' campaign, which established a reputation for creative promotions that would continue to grow over the decades.

1980s On Board

Route to change

In the early 80s, the Boeing 747s introduced a new spaciousness that revolutionised travel for Kiwis and opened up new international routes for Air New Zealand.

Closer to home, the airline introduced discounted "Thrifty Fares" with reductions of 43 percent on selected evening flights between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Innovative fare pricing was to become another hallmark of Air New Zealand's business into the future, as the airline came up with new ways to fill unsold seats and maximise returns.

1980s Aircraft

A sky full of jumbo jets

When people lost confidence in the DC-10 after a series of unlucky incidents around the world, Air New Zealand decided to replace the fleet with the iconic 747s. The purchase of five Boeing 747-200s marked the beginning of new growth throughout the decade and beyond.

The Boeing 747 is one of the most successful aircraft of all time and became seen as the epitome of the jet age, earning the nickname "jumbo jet".

The first addition to the new fleet, a B747, landed in Auckland in 1981, and many witnessing its arrival were overcome with emotion. It was seen as a symbol of a great new beginning. A landmark B747 flight was the first non-stop journey from Auckland to Los Angeles and on to London, on 1 April 1984. At a flight-time of 24 hours, this was the fastest Auckland-London journey possible and brought the number of 747 services to Los Angeles to 10 a week.

The increased capacity the 747 offered fuelled expansion through the 1980s.

1980s Uniforms

Fly 80s style

In 1987, Isabel Harris of Thornton Hall was selected to redesign both Nina Ricci's international uniform and the domestic crew's uniform, which had previously been designed by committee.

She met with international and domestic cabin crew to "pick up the vibes" of what was important. Early in the process, she picked teal to be the main colour, saying attendants were "lucky to have that as the corporate colour - being mid-range it suits all sorts of people". The new collection incorporated multiple combinations of teal and navy, and a patterned print with a subtle Koru motif in random squares of navy and teal on a white background.