I know BA used to have an arrangement where NZ DC-10's were swapped in the US somewhere, but did BA ever serve AKL with there own metal, and if so what was the route to/from London?
BA served AKL in the pre B747 era. Sorry can't give you exact dates. Main aircraft types were B707 and I think Comet 4 before that. They MAY have used Britannia's before the current AKL airport opened in the mid 1960s, but am not sure. Route was from LHR via Europe, the Middle East, India, South East Asia & Australia to Sydney then on to AKL For some period the route was extended to NAN, where in the late 1960s it connected to the SVC10 route MEL-SYD-NAN-HNL-JFK-LHR.
The exact route across Europe & Asia varied all over the place depending on era, day of week and current political events. There were 5 to 7 stops between LHR & SYD, so 6 to 8 to AKL.
Hope this general overview is useful but BA's RTW services across both the South & North Pacific were complex and varied over the 25-30 years they were operated.
The DC10s were swapped over with BA at LAX.
As for the Comets, IIRC they started in 1963, out of Whenuapai, but BA never used Britannias on the route. However, Canadian Pacific (now folded into Air Canada) did use Britannias on a routing which went AKL-NAN-Canton Island-HNL-YVR. BA switched to 707s on the London and Nadi routes as soon as Mangere opened.
Other early operators after Mangere opened were QF, obviously, with 707s, PA to the US also with 707s (replacing DC7s and before that, Stratocruisers on the route), and that was pretty much it IIRC. There had been a complication with the French government which saw TEAL terminate services to Tahiti in 1960, but I'm not sure when the jet services by TAI or UTA to Mangere commenced. NZ started serving PPT again in 1966 when it added a third frequency to the USA. I think also that when Mangere opened Canadian Pacific moved to DC8s on the route but ceased after a while for some reason relating to rights or frequencies, can't remember precisely.
And that was pretty much it for international operators, unless I've forgotten something. Services by SQ, CX and JL came along in a few years, and AA was also one of the earlier users of the airfield, in the late '60s(?). TEAL's international operations to Asia began in 1966 and initially consisted of 2x weekly AKL-SYD-HKG returning HKG-BNE-SYD-AKL, and then 1x weekly AKL-SYD-SIN (though this terminated after the loss of the DC8 at Mangere which reduced the fleet from three to two). Electra operations continued on the Tasman to Essendon, prior to the construction of MEL - can't recall when BNE services went jet. And of course there was the oddball DC4 service on AKL-NLK which survived many years after AKL opened.
But back to the Comets: BOAC's route extension to NAN also appeared to be done in co-operation with TEAL, as BA had the same timetable on AKL-NAN-AKL as TEAL, and TEAL did not operate on the days that BA operated the route (Mo/Fr IIRC). From memory, the outbound flight was AKL2130-0020NAN, connecting originally not to BOAC flights between SYD and LAX, but to QF flights from SYD to SFO (BOAC came later on SYD to LAX). The return flight was NAN0505-0755AKL (again connecting from SFO), except on the one day a week when the outward flight extended to PPG, in which case the return was a few hours later. QF was also a partner of sorts on the AKL-NAN route, and many of the flights were styled "TE/QFxxx", even though it was TEAL metal. I don't know the details of the arrangement with either BA or QF, however.
One little-known by-product of the operation of the BOAC Comets to Auckland was that they actually operated on NZ services from AKL-NOU for a while during some "down-time" in AKL. Technically NZ's first jet services!
I well remember as a 12-year old coming to AKL with my Dad and spending hours at Mangere just watching the magnificent DC8s and 707s that had brought New Zealand into the jet age. And you did have to wait for hours just to see a few departures in those days. NZ's DC8 services to SYD initially were 2x daily: AKL0900-1005SYD, SYD1115-1600AKL, AKL1700-1805SYD, SYD1900-2345AKL. Note the sector times were very much faster than today's! This was also in the days when TEAL operated 2x weekly to LAX with their DC8s, departing at 1015 via NAN and HNL and arriving in LAX in the early morning. With spectacularly low loads initially - staff were reported in the press at the time as being forbidden to speak about loadings, but reports were rife that as few as 8 pax were on board some flights. How times have changed . . .
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