In 1982 a management agreement for a first 5 year term was signed with Ansett and that signalled the arrival of Ansett equipment like VH-CZM (an Ansett 737-200 see below). This aircraft operated for both Polynesian and Air Vanuatu, the latter being another airline Ansett had a stake in which operated a weekly Port-Vila - Auckland route.
In 1987 an ex-Ansett 727 arrived and was painted with Polynesian livery on one side and Cook Islands International livery on the other. This joint operation continued until May 1990 when the aircraft became totally Polynesian operated and was named 'Fuatino'.
Ansett's involvement with the airline ceased in 1991 and the 727 was returned the following year and replaced by a leased 737-300. Expansion in 1993 saw several 767-200 and 300s leased from Air Canada and services begun to LAX and Honolulu in addition to the usual NZ and AU gateways. This was ill-advised as the airline found itself in financial difficulties (it had barely been profitable for much of the 80s anyway).
An agreement with Air New Zealand was signed in 1995 and by the late 90s the jet fleet was back to just the 737-300. In late 2000 a pair of 737-800s arrived and wore a lovely scheme which I was lucky enough to see at Wellington. In October 2005, the Polynesian government signed an agreement with Virgin Blue to form Polynesian Blue airlines that took over Polynesian's 737 services. Since then the airline has become strictly domestic carrier serving Pago Pago in American Samoa and on-demand charter services to Maota and Asau using Twin Otters.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: