Air New Zealand has given international travellers at Los Angeles International airport a taste of traditional Matariki celebrations, complete with a hangi for 400 people cooked on site.
The day of celebration was hosted by Air New Zealand Cultural Ambassador and the airline’s Kapa Haka team who staged a series of events to greet and farewell Air New Zealand flights throughout the day.
The performances culminated in a show-stopping moment when the baskets of steaming hangi food were chanted though the Terminal 2 building to the Koru lounge where Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe hosted a function for several hundred guests including Los Angeles city councillors, Kiwi actor Temuera Morrison and the airline’s most frequent LA based customers.
Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe said, “This is a great way to bring the unique flavour of Kiwi hospitality to life for our passengers. Our people and culture are two of Air New Zealand’s greatest assets. Matariki is a fantastic opportunity for us to share that with international travellers, helping them understand the unique characteristics that make our airline different.”
Air New Zealand Cultural Ambassador Andrew Baker said the public response to the Matariki celebrations was fantastic.
“LAX is one of the world’s busiest airports and we brought Terminal 2 to a standstill. We wanted to showcase our culture - including the story of Matariki and our Maori kai - in an unexpected way and people were just blown away by it.”
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320
Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Air India, Avianca-TACA, Copa Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 airports in 181 countries.