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Last seen on: LA Times Crossword 12 Feb 19, Tuesday
Random information on the term “TEAL”:
The history of Air New Zealand, the national carrier of New Zealand, began when the amalgamated East Coast Airways and Cook Strait Airways began operations in January 1936 as Union Airways of N.Z. Ltd, the country’s first major airline. Union Airways was the sole New Zealand aviation partner in Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), which made its inaugural flight in 1940. The New Zealand Government bought full ownership of TEAL in 1961 and the airline was renamed Air New Zealand in 1965. New Zealand’s domestic airline, National Airways Corporation (NAC), was merged with Air New Zealand in 1978. Air New Zealand was privatised in 1989 but in the early 2000s (decade) it got in financial trouble and in 2001 the New Zealand Government took up 80% ownership in return for injecting NZ$885M. In November 2013, the National Government sold down its share in Air New Zealand from 73% to 53% as part of its controversial asset sales programme.
The airline was established as TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited) on 26 April 1940. Its first flight was on 30 April 1940, with Short Empire flying boat ZK-AMA Aotearoa carrying ten passengers from Auckland to Sydney. It took around 7 hours 30 minutes to travel the 1345 miles. TEAL’s first annual report, dated 31 March 1941, revealed that 130 trans-Tasman flights had been completed, 174,200 miles flown and 1461 passengers carried, with a profit of NZ£31,479. During WW2 TEAL undertook several special charter and reconnaissance flights to New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Hawaii to assist the war effort. In June 1944 TEAL crossed the Tasman Sea for the 1000th time.