I moved to Auckland, New Zealand from the UK in June 2005 and since then on the odd occasion I have visited Auckland International - usually transiting through on business or waiting for a family member to arrive. Coming from an environment of Gatwick and Heathrow I have never found AKL's traffic to be busy enough or varied enough for proper spotting, however over the years I have taken a variety of shots.
The shots from later years are much superior but I thought I'd start a series showing the airport through the past 10 years and so I have to start with the worst photos - those from 2005. These shots were taken from July-December 2005.
Looking back AIAL has changed massively in the past decade and though many of my photos are of low quality and often taken through glass they do illustrate some of the changes that have taken place, both in terms of infrastructure and traffic. Hopefully you'll find the shots informative, though obviously they are never going to win any awards!!
On the domestic scene the two terminals (Air New Zealand and Qantas) were only loosely linked and the former had a nice viewing terrace (now taken over by a Koru lounge). The Air NZ domestic fleet was fully 737-300s with the link fleet mainly made up of Saab 340s and Beech 1900s. A few new DHC-8s were joining Air Nelson and Mount Cook ATR-72s were rare in Auckland. The Great Barrier routes were served by Great Barrier Airlines and Mountain Air Express (now FlyMySky) with a varied fleet of little feederliners.
International traffic back in 2005 was centred around the major Asian flag carriers with not a single Chinese airline in sight. In the below shots are several airlines that no longer operate to AKL including Royal Brunei (ceased AKL services October 2011) and Eva Air (ceased AKL services in 2008) whilst Thai, Malaysia and Singapore were still flying 747-400s. Emirates was on the scene using its new A340-500s. It looks like Thai were also introducing A340-600s onto the AKL route too. Air New Zealand's long haul flights were firmly in the hands of 747s and 767s with a few A320s and 737s operating shorter international sectors.
Interestingly before tons of construction and development at the international pier it was possible to just about see over the pier to the other side. There were no A380s at the time so no A380 pier either. Again photos were not easy through the glass.
So that's 2005. Stay tuned for 2006 and posts featuring some of New Zealand's other airports from the 2006-2016 period.
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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