Air New Zealand flight draws a giant kiwi in the sky.

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May 16, 2021
Kiwi flight path
The flight path of the Air New Zealand flight: Image: Air NZ

FIRST it was a kangaroo and now it’s a kiwi — airlines Downunder continue to display their talent for designing flightpaths displaying their national emblems.

The latest effort comes for Air New Zealand which displayed a giant kiwi, the flightless bird that gives the nation’s inhabitants their nickname, during a flight from Christchurch for 50 “Koru Care” kids usually prevented from travel by medical or other issues.

A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flown by Air New Zealand chief pilot David Morgan took off towards New Zealand’s West Coast on Saturday morning.

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It looped up and around to pass over Taranaki and with a few extra turns along the way, then headed back to Christchurch to reveal the kiwi flight path.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran, who traveled on today’s flight, said it was uplifting to offer a special charter flight for kids who aren’t usually able to travel offshore due to medical conditions or family situations.

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Special passengers: Captain David Morgan with Lilly (12) and Annie (11). Photo: Air NZ

“Today’s flight is a real heart warmer. Some of these children have never been on a plane before so we wanted them to experience the excitement of flying and our teams have pulled out all the stops to make today a magical experience for our Little Heroes,” Foran said.

The kids, dubbed Little Heroes, also met some of their real heroes at the pre-flight party today, including All Blacks rugby stars Sam Cane and Joe Moody.

Koru Care Chairman Chris George says the support from Air New Zealand for the past 35 years has put smiles on faces and turned dreams into reality for thousands of Kiwi kids.

Qantas in 2020 drew a kangaroo in the sky off the Australian coast as its last Boeing 747 headed to the US.

The aircraft also performed a flyby of Sydney Harbour, the city center, as well as the northern and eastern suburbs beaches, before heading south for a low-level overfly of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society’s (HARS) museum at Albion Park to dip its wings.

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