In 1940 Air New Zealand started life as Tasman Empire Airways Ltd and launched with a nine-hour flight across the Tasman aboard a flying boat.
Today the airline launches a book to mark its 75th anniversary, which falls next year.
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The book traces its journey from that flight of that Short S30 Empire carrying just nine passengers to this year's launch of services using the world's most advanced passenger aircraft - the Boeing 787 Dreamliner - which can make the trip in a third of that time with 302 passengers.
Air New Zealand: Celebrating 75 Years digs deep into the airline's image archive with pictures of early aircraft, cabin crew uniforms and the staff and passengers on the famed Coral Route through the South Pacific.
Women were not hired at first on the flying boats but in 1946 the first of six stewardesses joined TEAL. They became the face of the airline and in the early years they had to be unmarried.
The book displays sample menus from the days when air travel was more of a luxury for the wealthy.
Passenger meals in the 1940s included oysters in their shells, filet mignon and crumbed baked flounder.
While the airline has received international attention and awards for its marketing in the past decade, the 242-page book shows off some of its early advertising poster art advertising exotic destinations here and in the Pacific.
Besides the arrival of new planes, the arrival of domestic lounges and airbridges is detailed. They came about as a result of Ansett providing competition here. Smoking on planes is featured. Aircraft had "smoking areas" in their cabins, the airline sold cigarette lighters and one non-smoking pilot recalls the constant fug on the flight deck.
Head of global brand for Air New Zealand, Jodi Williams, said dozens of former staff contributed to the book as researchers and fact checkers, and story subjects themselves.
Aviation nostalgia is big - Qantas has just painted up a brand new Boeing 737 in 1970s livery - but Ms Williams said the aim of celebrations was not to bolster her airline's marketing push.
"It's not the objective when you set out - it's taking time to celebrate the journey."
The book also touches on the Erebus disaster - the 35th anniversary is tomorrow and the airline's near financial collapse in 2001 following its disastrous investment in Ansett Australia. It is part of a year of celebration which will centre on an exhibition at Te Papa in association with the museum starting on December 20.
The exhibition includes a replica Solent flying boat cabin, a display tracing the evolution of uniforms and a "design lab" highlighting the future of aviation.
"It's really important not to just celebrate the past but how you're going to launch into the future," said Ms Williams.
The airline will also sell retro merchandise, crockery, cabin bags and aircraft models.