Kiwis' help sought to save Air NZ plane from scrap

The plane carried more than two million passengers for Air New Zealand. Photo: supplied
The plane carried more than two million passengers for Air New Zealand. Photo: supplied
Kiwis are being asked to put their hands in their pockets to save a flying dinosaur.

It is a former Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 parked at Roswell, in the United States, and soon to be scrapped.

Paul Brennan
Paul Brennan
A group of aviation enthusiasts, headed by Paul Brennan of the National Business Review, is desperately trying to save the plane and is launching this week a campaign to raise $2.5 million.

Mr Brennan said he had a deal with the owners, but the money had to be in by July 9.

If successful, Mr Brennan proposes having the 747 flown to Christchurch and then dismantled so it can be trucked to its new permanent home at Wanaka’s National Transport and Toy Museum.

The jet engines, worth $30 million, would be sent back to the United States and used on other aircraft.

''This is our one shot to reclaim this artefact, this icon of our social and transportation history for future generations,'' Mr Brennan said.

If the target was not reached, donations would be refunded.

Mr Brennan had support from the a British 747 preservation group and pilots had offered to fly the plane to New Zealand.

''So, we've got a shot, but it's a hard one.''

He has not entirely given up on the idea the plane could fly directly to Wanaka and a simulation is planned for next month  in the US.

''It sounds like a bit of a far-fetched scenario to me, but it's worth exploring; you never know.''

The Queenstown Airport Corporation has said it would not be possible for a 747 to land at Wanaka because of its weight.

Mr Brennan believes there is potential for the plane to be converted into a boutique hotel once it is in Wanaka.

The plane carried more than two million passengers for Air New Zealand and was once painted with a Lord of the Rings scene.

''I'm characterising it as a nation building iconic artefact,'' Mr Brennan said.

''Kiwis have to decide whether it means anything to them, I suppose.''

Mr Brennan's Bring Our Birds Home group also has its eye on repatriating four other former Air New Zealand passenger aircraft scattered around the world in various states of disrepair.

• A givealittle page has been set up:



That would be nice to have here, but!! as being parked up for a while at Boswell in the United States make sure for sure there isn't any spacemen stowed away on board... Well if there are put them into quarantine for two weeks...

Dinosaur for a reason. Take a nice photo for the office and recycle the alloy.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter