Air New Zealand turns Sydney ferry into flying boat

By Chris Chamberlin, April 30 2015

Air New Zealand has transformed a Sydney ferry into a replica of a 1940s-era flying boat in celebration of the airline’s 75th anniversary.

Commuters on Sydney Harbour were treated to a performance of swing and boogie-woogie standards by The Starr Sisters on the usually sedate journey from Rose Bay to Circular Quay, with AirNZ crew in period uniform inviting passengers to take their seats and fasten their seatbelts.

Character actors were on hand to recreate a 1940s flying experience, while the ‘flying ferry’ will make a reappearance from 3:30pm to 6pm today between Circular Quay and Mosman on Sydney’s Lower North Shore.

Air New Zealand’s first-ever flight from Auckland to Sydney – then under the banner of Tasman Empire Airways Limited, or TEAL – took place on April 30 1940, aboard a Short S30 flying boat named Aotearoa.

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ZK-AMA, 'Aotearoa': TEAL's first flying boat
Archive, 2014.293

The journey took a staggering nine hours, now possible in under four, and had just nine passengers aboard.

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Disembarking a TEAL flying boat in the 1940s
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Landing in Rose Bay, a stark difference to Mascot and where today’s themed ferry service began, passengers aboard the original flying boats enjoyed cocktail bartender service to help pass the time…

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The cocktail bar aboard flying boat ZK-AMD in 1941
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… on what was then a once-weekly service.

Air New Zealand also commemorated its 75th anniversary with a specially-themed flight from Auckland to Sydney this morning aboard the newest aircraft in its fleet: the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

NZ103 touched down in Sydney after passengers enjoyed a 1940s-themed menu, birthday cake and a mid-air fashion show of the airline’s uniforms through the decades.

Air NZ DC-8 flight attendants don Christian Dior uniforms in the jet era, c1965

An exhibition highlighting the history of the airline will remain on the Lady Herron ferry for one week…

… which will reach approximately 1,000 commuters per day.

Also read: Sydney to Singapore in 4 days by Qantas flying boat

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ChrisCh
ChrisCh

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

auspointer

auspointer

24 Mar 2015

Total posts 18

Hopefully its still up and running Saturday - be fun to make use of my Opal card and get a free ride and see this!

TheRealBabushka

TheRealBabushka

21 Apr 2012

Total posts 3034

"Air New Zealand’s first-ever flight from Auckland to Sydney – then under the banner of Tasman Empire Airways Limited, or TEAL"

Ah...so is that why the NZ colour scheme is the way it is...teal?

Interesting!

evilbrian

evilbrian

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

Yep @The RealBabushka, and that's why Air NZs original airline code was TE and not NZ. Even though they changed the name to Air New Zealand in 1965, that old airline code hung around for decades afterwards.

cambriamarsh

cambriamarsh

QF

02 Nov 2012

Total posts 36

Brilliant, innovative anmd stylish, as well as being a lot of fun, wiush I could enjoy it.

watson374

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

OMG - which ferry is this?

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2925

"An exhibition highlighting the history of the airline will remain on the Lady Herron ferry...." :P


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