Air New Zealand’s 2023 highlights: Cookies, Capybaras, Capsicums – Travel And Tour World


In 2023, Air New Zealand ventured into the extraordinary, covering a spectrum from peculiar to splendid. The airline distributed over 5.7 million cookies, transported a diverse array of creatures, and shipped approximately 1,900 tonnes of capsicums internationally.

Experiencing an entire year of unrestricted travel*, Air New Zealand warmly greeted 15.9 million passengers onboard and executed an impressive 169,835 flights, spanning both domestic and international routes. This marked a notable increase from the 12.3 million passengers and 152,000 flights recorded in 2022.

Leanne Geraghty, Air New Zealand’s Chief Customer and Sales Officer, noted the heightened enthusiasm for travel among Kiwis and the inclusion of New Zealand in the bucket lists of international visitors. The domestic flights alone witnessed a surge, welcoming over 10.6 million travelers, up from 9.4 million in 2022. Additionally, international routes experienced substantial growth, accommodating over 5.3 million customers compared to 2.9 million the previous year.

At cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, the Air New Zealand cabin crew served 6.7 million meals, 5.7 million cookies, and 17 million iconic lollies to passengers. The beverage offerings during flights included:

  • 2.8 million glasses of soft drink
  • 2.1 million glasses of juice
  • 1.2 million glasses of white wine
  • 1.1 million glasses of red wine
  • 934,000 glasses of beer
  • 42,000 glasses of whiskey

Air New Zealand Cargo played a pivotal role, operating around the clock to transport over 30,000 tonnes of New Zealand exports internationally. This included seafood, fresh produce, meat, pharmaceuticals, emergency relief supplies, and valuable goods. The airline also facilitated the travel of more than 400,000 animals, ranging from pets to exotic creatures.

In a historic moment, Air New Zealand conducted its inaugural flight in te reo Māori in February, transporting passengers to the ‘Haka Olympics.’ The airline also provided temporary flights between Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay to aid communities affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Throughout the year, Air New Zealand resumed seasonal flights, welcomed back stored aircraft, bid farewell to vintage teal livery, and announced a collaboration with fashion designer Emilia Wickstead for new uniforms. The airline also took strides in sustainability, culminating in the purchase of ALIA, its first next-generation aircraft, in December—an essential step in its decarbonization journey.

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