Between the 1940s and the 1970s the cost of flying fell in relation to the average weekly wage, making it more affordable for ordinary New Zealanders. This chart shows the decreasing number of working days needed to purchase the cheapest fare, Auckland–Wellington and Auckland–Sydney.
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Source: Neil Rennie, Conquering isolation: the first fifty years of Air New Zealand, Auckland: Heinemann Reed, 1990, pp. 194-95