Air NZ celebrates 75 years with Te Papa exhibition

Air New Zealand will celebrate the first trans-Tasman flight from Auckland to Sydney tonight with the launch of a special exhibition at Te Papa Museum in Wellington.

Air New Zealand has teamed up with Te Papa to celebrate the companies 75th anniversary with an exhibition. Source: 1 NEWS

The first flight carried only nine passengers and mail but also marked the connection to the rest of the world.

"Aviation enabled New Zealand to be connected to the rest of the world much more easily, so before that the only connection was by ship," says Lynette Townsend, Te Papa Curator of History.

The airline worked with Te Papa to create the free exhibition, which will showcase everything from crew uniforms to inflight entertainment.

"From food to fashion, technology or marketing material, an airline is a fantastic reflection on society," says Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand CEO.

The exhibition will also display the huge leaps in aviation technology - from the early days of flying boats to the wide-bodied Boeing Dreamliner jets of today.

As a nation of travellers most New Zealanders will be able to relate to exhibition in a personal way, says Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis.

The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday and runs through until June next year.