Goodbye, teal: Last Air New Zealand planes with blue livery to be repainted black and white

  • 08/05/2023

Air New Zealand is retiring its teal blue livery.

The airline announced on Monday the eight remaining Q300 teal planes would soon be repainted with the more modern black and white.

"They are the only aircraft in Air New Zealand's entire fleet that remains in the teal Pacific Wave livery that was donned within the early 2000s. The teal livery and colour were a nod to the airline's 80-plus years of history, starting with the creation of what was then Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL) and now has become Air New Zealand," the national carrier said in a statement. 

"Over the next four months, the aircraft will go through a strip and repaint process led by the airline's engineering and maintenance teams and supported by Airbus in New Zealand, at their facilities in Blenheim."

The airline revealed the repainting was taking place in an Airbus facility usually used for military aircraft.

"It is the first time the aircraft have been fully stripped and repainted in New Zealand and Air New Zealand has used these facilities. The aircraft were previously painted off-shore in Australia," said Brett Daley, the airline's engineering and maintenance general manager.

"There's a lot of work involved and our teams do an amazing job from start to finish, stripping off the existing paint, repainting, refinishing and then reweighing before the aircraft is ready to leave the hangar."

One of the aircraft undergoes its makeover. Photo credit: Air New Zealand/Supplied

In the 2010s, Air New Zealand started to phase out its use of teal in favour of black - with the iconic koru remaining on the tail and a new large fern added to the back of the aircraft.

While it was originally part of a tourism campaign, the large ferm was kept after positive feedback.

Other liveries previously donned by the airline included the Southern Cross and a flying maroro.