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End of a 53-year era for veteran Air New Zealand flight attendant

written by Jake Nelson | June 15, 2023

Ron Twine is the longest-serving flight attendant in Air New Zealand’s history. (Image: Air New Zealand)

He’s flown with Air New Zealand more than most people alive – but after five decades, this frequent flyer is finally calling it quits.

Ron Twine, 74 years old and Air New Zealand’s longest-serving flight attendant, joined the Kiwi carrier in 1970 at 21 years old and will work his last flight on Monday when he flies NZ23 from Vancouver to Auckland. He says over the course of his long career he has made lifelong friends among fellow crew members and even passengers.

“Being a flight attendant isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle and something I have absolutely relished for 53 years. I’m going to find it really hard not to be with my friends and flying family after next week,” he said.

“For me it’s what this job’s been about, it’s the people, the passengers and crew, they have become real family and friends. Some came to our wedding, my wife and I have been on holiday with others and we visit them wherever we go.”

Ron began his half-century career upon meeting a group of Air New Zealand pilots and crew while working at a Tahiti hotel, and encourages anyone who enjoys travel and meeting people to consider a role in aviation.


“It just sounded like the most incredible life, and it has been. My career has been absolutely amazing, I look back and I wonder where the time has gone. It only seems like yesterday I put my uniform on for the first time, it really does.

“As a flight attendant you wear so many hats, you take on the role of counsellor, nurse, babysitter, entertainer and the best part is you get to help people. It’s so very rewarding, you’ll never look back.”

For Ron, meeting his wife Nikki was itself a career highlight: “It was her first day as an international flight attendant for the airline when we met waiting for our luggage at Los Angeles Airport,” he says.

“I made a joke about Nikki’s suitcase being old and out of fashion, when my own was the exact same make and was held together with duct-tape.”

Air New Zealand’s general manager cabin crew, Viv Vincent, hailed Ron as an inspirational figure and mentor for fellow cabin crew.

“Ron is somewhat of a legend here in our cabin crew whānau. He is known for going above and beyond in his role, going that extra mile to help our customers, whether it’s comforting customers with a fear of flying or consoling crying children, he’s amazing at what he does,” she said.

“To work with us for over half a century is such a milestone and he deserves to be celebrated.”

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