A.N.A. Australian National Airways Pty Ltd

IATA Code: -

ICAO Code: -

Known As: ANA

Full Name: Australian National Airways Pty Ltd

Country: Australia

Call sign: Austair




Objects in Collection







Brief History


During early-1936, Ivan Holyman began discussions with Adelaide Airways on a possible merger of Holyman’s Airways & Adelaide Airways.

On 13 May, Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. was registered, with a nominal capital of £500,000, & a subscribed capital of £250,000.  This was designed to combine Holyman’s Airways Pty. Ltd. & Adelaide Airways Ltd., with equal shareholdings held by Holyman’s Bros., Huddart Parker Ltd., Adelaide Steamship Co., the Orient Steam Navigation Co. & the Union Steam Ship Co. of NZ.  It was incorporated on 01 July & began combined operations on 02 November. 
It was in no way related to the previous Australian National Airways Ltd., which had ceased operations in mid-1931.
          
On 01 July, Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. was incorporated.
On 02 November, Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. (A.N.A.) began operations incorporating the operations of Holyman’s Airways & Adelaide Airways.

On 05 November, A.N.A. re-arranged the previous Adelaide Airways services & began operating weekly Adelaide-Broken Hill-Mildura-Adelaide & twice-weekly Adelaide-Renmark-Mildura-Broken Hill services.
On 19 November, A.N.A., via its newly-formed Bungana Investments Pty. Ltd., made an offer for the shares in Airlines of Australia Ltd., held by the British Pacific Trust.

The sale was completed on 08 March, 1937.

On 14 December, A.N.A. began weekday Melbourne-Wagga Wagga-Sydney D.H.86 services.
On 20 December, A.N.A. introduced DC-2 VH-USY on its Perth-Kalgoorlie-Forrest-Ceduna-Adelaide service.

On 01 February, 1937, A.N.A. announced an order for two D.H.89 Rapides. They were used for Adelaide to/from-Kingscote/Kangaroo Island Adelaide to/from Broken Hill, Port Lincoln, Naracoorte, Mt. Gambier & Melbourne & Melbourne to/from Flinders & King Island - clockwise one day & anti-clockwise the next day.The first D.H.89, VH-UXT ‘Mundoora’, went into service on 25 May.  D.H.89s were later used for the Aerial Ambulance service, based at Cairns.

On 08 March, A.N.A/Bungana Investments Pty. Ltd. purchased the 60% of shares in Airlines of Australia held by the British Pacific Trust, for a reported £80,000; gaining a controlling interest.Airlines of Australia continued to operate Sydney-Brisbane-Cairns until 01 July, 1942.  They operated a combined A.O.A./A.N.A. DC-2 service Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide (referred to as ‘The Four-City Fliers’), from 30 August.  However, in many respects, A.O.A. became a subsidiary of A.N.A., with the 2 companies’ operations being closely integrated.

On 10 April, A.N.A. took over the Adelaide-Kangaroo Island mail service previously operated by the M.V. ‘Karetta’ to Cape Jarvis, connecting with MV ‘Cheopis’ Cape Jarvis-Penneshaw.  This was the 1st air mail carried free of surcharge in the Southern Hemisphere.

On 14 April, A.N.A. announced the order for its first Douglas DC-3.  It was introduced into service in December.
By 01 May, A.N.A. served Melbourne-Wagga Wagga-Canberra-Sydney, Melbourne-King Island-Burnie/Wynyard-Launceston-Hobart, Launceston-Flinders Is., Melbourne-Mt. Gambier-Adelaide, Adelaide-Ceduna-Forrest-Kalgoorlie-Perth, Adelaide-Cowell-Port Lincoln, Adelaide-Renmark-Mildura-Broken Hill & Adelaide-Penneshaw-American River-Kingscote.

On 25 May, A.N.A.’s 1st D.H.89 Rapide, VH-UXT ‘Mundoora’ entered service.
On 31 May, A.N.A. replaced its Adelaide-Renmark-Mildura-Broken Hill service with a three-times-weekly Adelaide-Renmark-Broken Hill-Mildura-Melbourne service.

On 30 August, A.O.A. & A.N.A. operated a combined, daily DC-2 service Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide, referred to as ‘The Four-City Fliers’. A Brisbane-Adelaide trip involved some 8.5 flying hours.  The 1st Brisbane-Adelaide service was operated by A.O.A.’s VH-UYC 'Kyeema’ & the 1st Adelaide-Brisbane service was operated by A.N.A.’s
VH-UYB ‘Pengana’. During December, A.N.A.’s 1st Douglas DC-3, VH-UZK ‘Kurana’, began service; just after Airlines of Australia introduced their DC-3 VH-UZJ. During December, A.N.A. began Melbourne-Kerang services.  They were suspended from October 1938 until late-1943.                          

During January, 1938, A.N.A. replaced D.H.86s with DC-2s on their Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney services.
On 01 August A.N.A. began DC-2/D.H.86 non-stop services Sydney-Melbourne. During September, Australian National Airways moved to buy a majority of Ansett Airways Ltd. shares, offering 9 shillings per share, but was thwarted in its takeover bid.
On 25 October, Bungana Investments Pty. Ltd. took over the remaining shares of Airlines of Australia Ltd., which continued to operate until 01 July, 1942. On 25 October, A.N.A.’s DC-2 VH-UYC ‘Kyeema’ crashed into Mt. Dandenong, Vic.
On 13 November, A.N.A. introduced twice-daily DC-3 services Sydney-Melbourne. On 30 November, A.N.A. & Ansett began discussions on a proposal to combine, or merge, competing airlines.  Discussions on a possible merger continued until August 1939, when they were abandoned.

On 28 February, 1939, soon after the fire, which destroyed a number of Ansett Airways aircraft, another attempt was made by A.N.A. to purchase Ansett Airways, (for just 8/6 per £1 share). It was again rejected by the Ansett Airways’ Board, thanks to the persistence & forcefulness of Reg Ansett. During April, amalgamation discussions between Ansett Airways Ltd. & Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. were suspended &, after further discussions with shareholders in July, resulted in no further action being taken by either company.

On 24 April, Guinea Airways commenced Monday/Wednesday/Friday D.H.89 services from Adelaide to Port Lincoln, Cleve & Kangaroo Island; taking over the routes from A.N.A. (after a reclassification of air services by the DCA); initially using leased A.N.A. D.H.89s & later their own D.H.89s, VH-UUO & VH-UVI, purchased from A.N.A.
On 24 June, A.N.A. replaced the last of its D.H.86 services Melbourne-Sydney-Melbourne with DC-2s/DC-3s.
During July, A.N.A. withdrew its daily Adelaide-Renmark-Broken Hill services, after Ansett Airways began 3 times weekly Adelaide-Broken Hill services.

From 11 September, the Commonwealth Government chartered four Australian National Airways DC-3s (VH-ABR, VH-ACB, VH-UZJ & VH-UZK) for the R.A.A.F. Number 8 Squadron, pending the arrival of Lockheed Hudsons, for coastal reconnaissance.
From 12 November, A.N.A. discontinued Brisbane-Rockhampton weekday services & Sydney-Lismore services.
During the 2nd half of 1939, A.N.A. carried some 273,936 lbs. (some 124,500kg) of airmail.   During all of 1939, A.N.A. carried 65,374 passengers & 1,037,062 lbs. (471,390kg) of freight; flying 33,265 hours.
By the start of World War II, A.N.A. were carrying an average of around 5000 passengers, 34,100kg of freight & 18,200kg of mail some 644,000km per month.

Between February & June, 1940, the Royal Australian Air Force progressively returned the four DC-3s, which had been chartered from Australian National Airways in September, 1939. For the year ending 30 June, A.N.A. received a subsidy of £35,134 for its 7 return DC-3 services Melbourne-Launceston-Hobart, its 13 return DC-3 services Melbourne-Sydney, 4 return DC-2 services Adelaide-Melbourne, 3 return DC-2 services Melbourne-Perth & 6 round-trip D.H.89 services Melbourne-King Island-Launceston-Flinders Island-Melbourne. On 01 October, DC-3 VH-ABR operated the first one-day return Adelaide-Sydney-Adelaide service.

On 20 December, 1941, A.N.A. DC-3s began evacuation flights from Port Moresby to Cairns - 922 people were evacuated.  This often involved 9-10 hours in the air each day; for 15 days without a break. Aircraft would take-off from Cairns at 02:00, arriving Port Moresby around 06:30, returning to Townsville around 12:00. 

They would then return to Port Moresby, arriving around 19:30, returning to Townsville around midnight.  The DC-3s often carried 40-50 women & children; rather than their usual 21 passengers in civilian use.
On 28 December, A.N.A. DC-3s began evacuation flights from Rabaul to Cairns - 75 people were evacuated.  Each aircraft operated an average of 3 return trips per day, without navigation facilities.
Two DC-3s, piloted by Fred Patterson & Lyn Taylor, flew from Port Moresby & landed on a golf course at Rabaul, early one morning. They were escorted for the first 160km of the return trip by RAAF 24 Squadron Wirraways.             

On 07 February, 1942, A.N.A. DC-3 VH-UZJ was used for the carriage of bombs & equipment Cairns-Port Moresby (& later personnel Townsville-Port Moresby). On 15 May, the Allied Directorate of Air Transport (A.D.A.T.) was formed by the Commonwealth Government, the U.S. forces, A.N.A., QANTAS Empire Airways & Guinea Airways, for the Australian airlines to operate U.S. transport aircraft (mainly Douglas C-47 types & Lockheed Lodestars) for military transport purposes.  Later, Ansett Airways was also involved. 

Many U.S. transport aircraft were available, but with no crews to fly them & Australian airline crews had insufficient aircraft to fly.  So, during November, arrangements were made between the Australian Commonwealth Government & Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd., Guinea Airways Ltd., QANTAS Empire Airways Ltd. & the American forces for the operation of these transport aircraft under the direction of the Allied Directorate of Air Transport.  An agreement was finalised so that the airline crews could fly the military transports, using radio call-signs. These were not full registrations, but thirty-six certificates of registration were issued & prefixed X, to enable these aircraft to carry passengers on war-related duties.

During 22-26 May, A.N.A. DC-3s VH-UZJ & VH-UZK (with volunteer crews) carried commandos & their equipment from Port Moresby to Wau, with 3 USAAF C-53s, escorted by P-40 Kittyhawks. On 01 July, Airlines of Australia Ltd. was completely absorbed by Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd.; becoming a small holding company, with a share-holding in A.N.A.

From January, 1943, A.N.A. DC-3s began operating courier services for General MacArthur’s GHQ.
From 09 August, QANTAS Short Empire Boats VH-ABB, VH-ABG & VH-ACD were chartered by the A.D.A.T./A.N.A., with QANTAS crews, for daily Sydney-Brisbane-Townsville services. From late-1943, A.N.A. recommenced Melbourne-Kerang services, which had been suspended in October, 1938. During 1943, A.N.A.’s planes flew a distance equivalent to 14 trips to the moon & back.

From May, 1944, A.N.A. DC-3s began operating regular night courier services for General MacArthur’s GHQ,  leaving Brisbane at 20:00 & arriving Port Moresby at 07:00 the next morning & then operating to Dobodura & Lae, Nadzab, & Finschhafen, arriving around 11:00, before departing for Brisbane returning to Brisbane, arriving there around 05:00 the next morning.  In the first year of night courier services, some 14:00 hours were flown.

During May, an A.N.A. DC-2 aircraft operated the first domestic airline operation from Perth’s new Guildford Airport, when it operated to Kalgoorlie & Adelaide. By June, the number of A.N.A. employees was 4,000, of which 3,000 were engineers; many involved in special war work.  There were some 120 pilots.

By October the courier service had extended  to Hollandia, Piva & the Solomons, with the A.N.A. pilots flying as much as 47 hours in 4 days. On 03 October, the Allied Directorate of Air Transport (A.D.A.T.) was disbanded & reformed as the 5298th Troop Carrier Wing.  This did not affect the charter arrangements with Australian airlines.
In late-1944, A.N.A. made a £275,000 offer, in the form of £1 A.N.A. preference shares, for Guinea Airways.  It was rejected at an extraordinary general meeting in January 1945.

By Christmas, 1944, A.N.A. courier pilots had flown more than 400 round-trips from Brisbane to Hollandia, or Biak, plus 100s of other trips to various parts of New Guinea. During 1944, A.N.A. ordered Douglas DC-6s, subject to Australian Commonwealth Government approval, which was not forthcoming until 1953. By 1944, A.N.A. had a paid-up capital of £500,000, revenue of approximately £1,000,000, some 70 aircrew & 450 employees, involved in civil & military operations.

On 31 January, 1945, A.N.A.’s Stinson Model A-2W VH-UYY ‘Tokana’ crashed at Spring Plains, near Redesdale, Vic.
On 11 June, A.N.A. began weekly Melbourne-Kerang services, using DC-2s. During the 1st half of 1945, A.N.A. carried some 3,915,154lbs. (some 1,780,000kg) of airmail, compared with 273,936 lbs. (124,500kg) in the 2nd half of 1939.

During August, A.N.A. reached an agreement with Guinea Airways in relation to maintenance, engineering, bookings & passenger-handling for G.A.L.  Guinea Airways became, operationally, but not legally, a subsidiary of A.N.A.  Whilst most ground staff & hostesses were A.N.A. staff, Guinea Airways maintained their own Captains & First Officers (although they had the right to ask for additional  technical crews from A.N.A., as required).

By September, A.N.A. employed 170 pilots, including many who had recently returned from war service.
During December, arrangements between the Allied Directorate of Air Transport, Australian National Airways & Guinea Airways ceased. During 1945, A.N.A. carried 344,393 passengers & 5,089,608 lbs. (2,313,450kg) of freight, flying 97,966 hours.
As the post-WWII era began, A.N.A. held some 90% of the Australian domestic air transport market, with a network of more than 10,000 miles (16,000km), stretching from Cape York to Perth.

On 06 January, 1946, A.N.A. airfreighted strawberries & raspberries from Tasmania to various State capitals, using DC-3s.  This began the development of air freight services.

On 22 January, A.N.A. C-39 VHCGC operated their 1st post-WWII Essendon-Wynyard-Essendon service.
On 09 February, A.N.A.’s first DC-4 (of  5 ordered), VH-ANA ‘Amana’, arrived in Australia.  It entered service 11 February, configured to carry 44 First-Class passengers.

On 10 March, A.N.A. DC-3 VH-AET crashed at Seven Mile Beach, Hobart.
During March, VH-ANA operated A.N.A.’s inaugural DC-4 service Melbourne-Perth-Melbourne.
During June, A.N.A. closed down its C-47/C-49/C-53 courier services to Manila, which had been under contract from the Directorate of Allied Air Transport.

By June, A.N.A.’s operations, in addition to its mainland-inter-capital services, included:
Cairns-Cooktown - Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays Cairns-Horn Island - Thursdays (returning Fridays)
Cooktown-Cairns - Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays Cairns-Normanton - Tuesdays (returning Wednesday)
Melbourne-Launceston - 3 times daily  Melbourne-Hobart - 3 times daily Melbourne-Kerang - Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays  Melbourne-Mildura-Broken Hill - Weekdays Melbourne-Wynyard - Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays
.
On 01 July, A.N.A. began daily Sydney-Canberra services, using DC-3s.
On 22 July, A.N.A. began six times weekly Melbourne-Wynyard services, again using DC-3s.
On 01 August, A.N.A. began a 5 times weekly Perth-Kalgoorlie service, using 28-seat DC-3s.
The service ceased 01 August, 1948.

By August, with the introduction of 5 DC-4s & additional DC-3s, A.N.A. operated DC-4s from Brisbane to Perth, via Sydney & Melbourne.

On 11 September, Australia’s 1st DC-2, A.N.A.’s VH-USY ‘Bungana’ was retired from service; having flown 29,000 hours & 4,750,000 miles (7,644,384km). On 15 September, A.N.A. DC-4 VH-ANC ‘Warana’ inaugurated British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines’ new Sydney-Fiji-Canton Island-Honolulu-San Francisco-Vancouver service (arriving 18 September), under contract.  The Postmaster-General (Senator Cameron) handed over to Captain Ivan Holyman the first mail dispatched by the new service.  A passenger on the service was the Deputy Director-General of Civil Aviation (Captain K- C. Johnston), who was on his way to the United States, as the representative of the Australian, New Zealand and British Governments, to negotiate for a reciprocal landing rights agreement.  The aircraft had surveyed the route during the previous May.  The DC-4 was configured for 36 passengers & 7 crew. 

A.N.A. provided DC-4 aircraft (VH-ANA, VH-ANB, VH-ANC & VH-AND), crews & in-flight services.  The service was became a weekly service from 21 February, 1947.  The contract was extended, by 12 months, in April 1947; with an Auckland-Vancouver service being added from 25 April (operated by VH-AND).  A.N.A. operated the services very successfully until BCPA began their own DC-4 operations, commencing 25 April, 1948.  A.N.A. was very disappointed when they were forced to relinquish the services, as they rightly considered that they had provided an excellent service.  A.N.A. operated its final BCPA service on 29 April, 1948.

During September, A.N.A. began Melbourne-Swan Hill services.
On 17 October, A.N.A. introduced a new six-days-per-week, DC-4 service Melbourne-Perth.
In early-1946 the well-known advertising line “Wing your way with ANA” was introduced.   This was used extensively until the airline became part of ANSETT-ANA.

From 26 May, 1947, A.N.A. discontinued its Flinders Island-Melbourne services.
On 16 December, A.N.A. began five times weekly Melbourne-Deniliquin services, using DC-3s.  This was extended to Narrandera on 06 January, 1948. By end-1947, A.N.A. served 47 airports, from Perth to Horn Island; by far the biggest route structure of any Australian airline.

From 06 January, 1948, A.N.A. extended its Melbourne-Deniliquin DC-3 service to Narrandera.  The service ceased on 31 January; being replaced by a new service on 02 February.
By early-1948, A.N.A. operated a twice-weekly Adelaide-Kalgoorlie-Adelaide DC-3 service, added to their Perth-Kalgoorlie-Perth DC-3 services.

On 02 February, A.N.A. began a Melbourne-Deniliquin-Griffith-Narrandera-Wagga Wagga-Sydney DC-3 service.
On 03 March. A.N.A. began a weekly freighter service Melbourne-Wynyard-King Island.
From 24 March, A.N.A.’s Cairns-Bourketown service terminated at Inverleigh.
The 01 April timetable included Tuesday services Cairns-Abingdon-Croydon-Normanton-Miranda (optional call)-Vanrook-Dunbar-Koolatah-Rutland Plains-Mitchell River-Galbraith-Delta Downs (optional call)-Normanton-Inverleigh-Normanton, continuing on Wednesdays Normanton-Croydon-Abingdon-Cairns.  There were also Monday/Thursday/Saturday return Cairns-Cooktown-Cairns services & on Wednesdays services Cairns-Cooktown-Coen-Iron Range-Horn Island, returning on Thursdays.

On 19 April, A.N.A. commenced Melbourne-Mildura services.
On 29 April, A.N.A. operated its last scheduled DC-4 trans-Pacific service for British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines.
On 12 May, A.N.A. took over management of Inland Air Services Pty. Ltd., after it had a number of management & financial problems.

On 01 June, A.N.A. extended its Melbourne-Deniliquin DC-3 services to Narrandera.
On 01 June, A.N.A. acquired a 35% interest in Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (with 35% held by China Navigation Co. & John Swire & Sons, Cathay Holdings Ltd. & Syd de Kantzow each holding 10%).
This was increased to 37.19% in April, 1950 (after de Kantzow sold them 656 shares) & to 39.69% in 1951, but was reduced to only 16% by 1957, as more Cathay Pacific shares were issued.

During July, A.N.A. sought Federal Government permission to import two additional DC-4s.  This was refused by the openly & fiercely pro-TAA/anti-A.N.A. Labor Federal Government, due to a reported lack of U.S. dollars, despite TAA being allowed U.S. dollars to import five Convair CV-240s.

On 01 August, A.N.A.’s Perth-Kalgoorlie DC-3 service ceased.
On 02 August, after months of negotiations, Airlines (W.A.) & A.N.A. rationalised their Kalgoorlie operations.  A.N.A. operated two Adelaide-Kalgoorlie-Adelaide DC-3 services per week.  Airlines (W.A.) operated twice-daily Perth-Kalgoorlie-Perth services, six days per week & positioned its Doves to connect two-from A.N.A.’s services from/to Adelaide.  That arrangement continued, without major change, until A.N.A. withdrew its DC-3 service from/to Adelaide in December, 1952.  Airlines (W.A.) then became A.N.A.’s agent in WA.

On 02 September, A.N.A.’s DC-3 VH-ANK ‘Lutana’ crashed at Square Peak, Mt. Crawney, Liverpool Range, near Quirindi, N.S.W. On 04 November, Air Beef Pty. Ltd. was founded by A.N.A., M.M.A. & a group of W.A. pastoralists, with the aim of transporting beef from the remote West Kimberley stations from Glenroy Station to Wyndham; generally from May to September.  Operations began 13 May, 1949.

On 08 November, A.N.A. DC-3 VH-UZK ‘Kurana’ crashed on Mt. Dandenong.
During December, A.N.A. leased Bristol 170 Mk. 21E Freighter G-AICL (later VH-INJ) from Bristol, for a 3-month trial.  The trial was a great success & the aircraft was purchased, becoming VH-INJ ‘Pokana’ in April 1949 - the first of three Mk. 21 Freighters used by A.N.A.

During 1948, A.N.A. acquired a 49% interest in Air Ceylon Ltd. &, as part of an initial 10-year contract, undertook to train their staff & operate international services on their behalf, using DC-4s.
It sold its shares to KLM in November 1955.

During 1948, Bungana Investments Pty. Ltd. purchased a 50% interest in Townsville & Country Airways Pty. Ltd. (TACA).
During 1948, Bungana Investments Pty. Ltd. made an offer for Butler Air Transport.  The offer was rejected, but Bungana & the Holyman family purchased shares on the open market; eventually owning 51% of the shares, but not the majority of voting shares.

During 1948, A.N.A. began Melbourne-Nhill services,   They ceased in December 1955.  Nhill was also a refuelling stop on A.N.A.’s Melbourne-Adelaide services.
From 1948/1949 A.N.A. began losing money, in the face of heavy competition from a Labor-backed TAA.  This led to A.N.A.’s Board & owners being increasing reluctant  to invest more, to permit it to effectively compete with TAA (&, to a lesser degree, with Ansett Airways).


On 04 January, 1949, A.N.A. introduced Douglas DC-4s Adelaide-Perth.
On 27 January, Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd., previously a private company, attempted to go public, with a nominal capital of £1.5 million (6 million 5/- shares) & a subscribed capital of £1 million (with 25% of the shares offered to the public).  However, the poorly-subscribed public share issue was later withdrawn.
Early in 1949, the Government of Ceylon entered into an agreement with A.N.A. for the operation of a Colombo to London air service, using Douglas DC-4s, which commenced 04 February.
On 23 March, A.N.A. extended its Melbourne-Kerang service to Hay.
On 13 May, the Air Beef Scheme was inaugurated.
On 19 May, Air Ceylon’s first Colombo-Singapore-Sydney charter service arrived Sydney, operated by DC-4 VP-CBE ‘Ratmalana’, flown by an A.N.A. crew.

The first scheduled service arrived 24 January, 1950.
In the year ending 30 June, A.N.A. carried some 612,083 passengers (compared to TAA’s 454,759).
On 01 August, A.N.A. introduced daily Sydney-Mildura services.
On 15 August, A.N.A. began daily Brisbane-Mackay services, using DC-3s.
On 01 September, A.N.A. began services Sydney-Narrandera, six times weekly Melbourne-Dubbo, Adelaide-Mildura, daily Melbourne-Parkes-Dubbo & return; all using DC-3s.
Between September & October, A.N.A. imported 2 more Bristol 170 Mk. 21 Freighters (VH-INK & VH-INL), for use on the Bass Strait routes.


On 23 January, 1950, Air Ceylon inaugurated their scheduled Colombo-Singapore-Sydney services, using Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. crew & DC-4 aircraft (VP-CBD, ex-VH-ANG).
On 29 January, Air Ceylon inaugurated their scheduled Sydney-Singapore-Colombo-Europe services, using Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. crew & DC-4 aircraft (VP-CBD, ex-VH-ANG).
A new fortnightly timetable commenced 26 March, operating Sydney-Darwin-Singapore, Colombo-Bombay (Mumbai)-Karachi-Cairo-Rome-London; the 1st service arriving London 30 March.
On 27 March, A.N.A. began six times weekly Melbourne-Sale-Bairnsdale services, using DC-3s.  Fares were £2/10/- Melbourne-Sale & £3/2/6 Melbourne-Bairnsdale & 15/- Sale-Bairnsdale.
In April, the new Menzies Liberal Federal Government set up a Cabinet sub-committee, to examine policy for Australia’s interstate airline system.

On 01 May, A.N.A. began Melbourne-Parkes services; daily except Sunday, via Wagga Wagga; using DC-3s.  Coach services connected Orange with Parkes.

On 15 May, A.N.A. began services to Benalla. It appears that they operated Melbourne-Benalla-Melbourne for possibly a month, then Melbourne-Benalla-Deniliquin-Benalla-Melbourne for a short period.
They then operated Melbourne-Benalla-Wagga Wagga-Parkes-Dubbo & reverse.  The service ceased in June 1951, being temporarily replaced by services to Tocumwal.

On 05 June, A.N.A. began daily Melbourne-Devonport services, using DC-3s; utilising Devonport's new Pardoe Aerodrome.
On 26 June, A.N.A. DC-4 VH-ANA ‘Amana’ crashed near York, WA.

On 01 May, 1951, Air Ceylon was reorganised as Air Ceylon Corp.  Its two DC-4s, previously CY-ACA & CY-ACB, had already been reregistered in Australia, as VH-INY ‘Laxapana’ & VH-INZ ‘Ratmalana, respectively & were now owned by A.N.A. & chartered by Air Ceylon.

On 29 May, A.N.A. commenced six times weekly Melbourne-Swan Hill-Mildura services, using DC-3s.
During June, A.N.A. withdrew its services to Benalla & added & added Tocumwal to its Melbourne-Parkes-Dubbo-Orange route.
In the 3 years to 30 June, A.N.A. reportedly lost some £550,000 (against TAA’s reported profit of £206,000).  The new Liberal Federal Government realised that A.N.A. was in trouble.

On 13 August, A.N.A. began services to Innisfail – Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays & Sundays southbound from Cairns & Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays northbound.

On 13 August, A.N.A. began services to Tocumwal - Mondays, Wednesday & Fridays.
During 1951, A.N.A. combined its Melbourne-Kerang-Hay & Melbourne Swan Hill-Mildura services, began services from Cairns & Townsville to Innisfail, using DC-3s.

  
On 15 February, 1952, A.N.A. began Sydney-Hobart non-stop DC-4 services, using DC-4 VH-ANB ‘Lackrana’.  Services initially operated Fridays & Saturdays, at a one-way fare of £13/16/-.

In March, the Liberal Federal Government, having examined the problems A.N.A. was having competing with TAA, wrote to A.N.A., advising that their new domestic civil aviation policy, to help provide adequate competition with TAA, would be to create a contract with both A.N.A. & TAA to rationalise the industry, with a committee overseeing that rationalisation.  This policy would give A.N.A. a substantial share of airmail business, share Government business with TAA (at least in theory). reduce A.N.A.’s Air Navigational charges, assist A.N.A. to purchase new aircraft.  A.N.A. accepted the new policy, in principle, in April & detailed negotiations resulted in the Civil Aviation Agreement Act, some months later, which was signed by Ivan Holyman on 24 October.  The agreement guaranteed the ‘two airline policy’ for, initially, 15 years.  A.N.A. was given guarantees for loans for up to £3 million for new aircraft purchases, plus extensions of those loan guarantees, to allow AN.A. to match future aircraft purchases by TAA.  T

he Air Navigation (Charges) Act was also amended, to reduce A.N.A.’s air navigation costs from over £1 million to £410,000.
On 01 June, A.N.A. extended its Melbourne-Deniliquin services to Narrandera.
On 13 December, A.N.A. transferred its twice-weekly Sydney-Albion Park (Wollongong)-Bairnsdale-Sale-Melbourne route to South Coast Airways.

On 15 December, A.N.A. began a 3-times-weekly Melbourne-Kerang-Swan Hill DC-3 service.
During December, A.N.A. ceased operating its Melbourne-Deniliquin-Narrandera & Melbourne-Sale-Bairnsdale services.  The latter route went to South Coast Airways, although they never commenced scheduled operations.
During December, A.N.A. withdrew its DC-3 service Adelaide-Kalgoorlie-Adelaide.  Airlines (W.A.) then became A.N.A.’s agent in WA.

During 1952, the Civil Aviation Agreement Act (Airlines Agreement Act) of 1952 guaranteed finance to Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. for upgrading of their fleet.
During 1952, A.N.A. placed options on 6 Vickers Viscount 721s.  They were never delivered; A.N.A. instead ordering DC-6Bs.


On 11 May, 1953, Air Ceylon’s DC-4 services Singapore-Sydney-Singapore, operated by A.N.A., were suspended 'temporarily'.  They were never resumed.
On 23 July, Air Ceylon services were terminated & the A.N.A. aircraft VH-INY & VH-INZ were returned to Australia, for internal services & repainting in the A.N.A. color-scheme.
During July, A.N.A. carried 39,212 passengers & 7,242,645 lbs of freight; compared with 39,545 passengers & 6,544,399 lbs in the same month of 1952.

During August, A.N.A. carried 47,172 passengers & 6,553,353 lbs of freight; compared with 46,199 passengers & 6,434,526 lbs in the same month of 1952. On 01 September, A.N.A. purchased Douglas DC-6s VH-INV & VH-INW, from National Airlines, Inc., for $US1.25 million (£558,000) each.  They were delivered in December; with VH-INV entering service
17 December & VH-INW the next day. During September, A.N.A. carried 47,555 passengers & 6,393,322 lbs of freight; compared with 47,616 passengers & 5,405,653 lbs in the same month of 1952.

On 23 October, A.N.A. announced the purchase of the 2 Douglas DC-6s & the order of its first two Douglas DC-6Bs.  In all, A.N.A. eventually purchased 2 DC-6s & 4 DC-6Bs, with loans of £4.35 million.
During October, A.N.A. carried 49,557 passengers & 6,734,704 lbs of freight; compared with 46,594 passengers & 5,987,955 lbs in the same month of 1952. During November, A.N.A. carried 43,421 passengers & 6,921,793 lbs of freight; compared with 42,731 passengers & 5,614,532 lbs. in the same month of 1952.


On 17 December, A.N.A.’s 1st DC-6, VH-INV ‘Nairana’, entered service, Melbourne-Launceston.  VH-INW ‘Kurana’ entered service the next day.  Between 18-28 December, they carried 4,721 passengers.
On 18 December, A.N.A. began DC-6 services, with VH-INV & VH-INW, between Sydney & Melbourne & Brisbane.  To compete, TAA wet-leased a DC-6 from KLM.
During December, A.N.A. carried 57,724 passengers & 7,706,670 lbs. of freight; compared with 56,714 passengers & 6,108,171 lbs. in the same month of 1952.


On 23 February, 1954, A.N.A. inaugurated DC-6 services to/from Perth.
During March, A.N.A. discontinued their Melbourne-Dubbo DC-3 services.
On 01 May, A.N.A. began non-stop Melbourne-Brisbane services, using DC-4s.
During October, A.N.A. (& TAA) introduced DC-4 ‘Tourist’ services (at fares some 15% below full-fare) Melbourne-Sydney (at a fare of £7/2/6) & Sydney-Brisbane (at a fare of £7/10/-), to try to compete with Ansett Airways’ Tourist services.  However, they were unpressurised, crowded & at inconvenient times & were unpopular, until they increased the discount to 25%.
On 15 November, A.N.A. DC-4 VH-ANF made a wheels-up landing at Eagle Farm Airport, Brisbane.
During 1954, A.N.A. applied for permits to import a further two more DC-6Bs.
During 1954, A.N.A. began non-stop flights between Brisbane & Melbourne.
During 1954, A.N.A. pulled out of the Air Beef scheme, transferring its Bristol Freighter to the East Coast.  Air Beef continued until 1960, using M.M.A. DC-3 freighters.

On 16 February, 1955, A.N.A. DC-4 VH-INY became the 1st regular aircraft to use the new West Beach Airport, at Adelaide.
On 22 February, Handley Page announced that A.N.A. planned to buy 18 Handley Page Heralds.  On 02 August, A.N.A. announced a provisional ‘order’ for 24, at £212,500 each, for A.N.A. (18) & some smaller Australian airlines (6).  As with the Q.A.L. ‘order’ in late-1954, the A.N.A. ‘order’ was never completed.
On 07 March, A.N.A.’s first DC-6B, VH-INH ‘Bungana’ entered service, on a promotional Melbourne-Hobart flight.  It commenced scheduled services 09 March; mainly Melbourne-Sydney & Melbourne-Adelaide-Perth.  Their 2nd DC-6B VH-INU ‘Kwinana’ entered service later in March.

On 01 April, A.N.A. began DC-4 services Melbourne-Wynyard.
In the financial year ending 30 June, A.N.A. carried 656,089 passengers, over 284,236, 809 passenger-miles; meaning that A.N.A. had carried 6,873,838 passengers, over 3,056,491,548 passenger-miles, since beginning operations in 1936.  Freight carried during the 1954-1955 financial year was 3,5715,914 lbs. (162,004,661kg)
On 01 June, A.N.A. DC-6 VH-INW broke the Perth-Adelaide speed record, with a time of 3 hours & 22.5 minutes.
On 20 September, A.N.A. finally introduced Tourist-Class fares, beginning began thrice weekly ‘Coach’ services Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane, using 60-seat DC-4s.

On 07 October, A.N.A. announced that they expected to receive their 1st helicopter, a Bristol 171 Sycamore, in November.  However, the Commonwealth Government delayed approval for its import &
VH-INO ‘Yarrana’ finally entered service on 19 May 1956.
In October, through Bungana Investments Pty. Ltd., Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. acquired a majority holding (101,599 of 200,000) of Butler Air Transport shares.

During November, A.N.A. sold its shares in Air Ceylon to K.LM.
During December. A.N.A. ceased Melbourne-Nhill services.


On 16 May, 1956, A.N.A. announced an order for 2 additional Douglas DC-6Bs.  These became VH-INS ‘Beltana’ & VH-INT ‘Olympiana’ (its originally-proposed name of ‘Tatana’ was not used).
On 19 May, A.N.A.’s first helicopter, Bristol 171 Sycamore Mk. 4 VH-INO ‘Yarrana’, entered service.  It operated a publicity flight by transporting an umpire to a football ground.  This was claimed to be the 1st commercial helicopter service in Australia.  It was joined by VH-INQ, in ANSETT-ANA service, in September 1958.

In mid-1956, Ivan Holyman advised the Federal Government that the only profit A.N.A. had made during that decade had been in 1955, when it made a profit of just £18,000, despite the airline having a book value of some £1.5 million.  He proposed a merger with TAA, to create a single airline, with the majority of the shares owned by the Federal Government.
During August, Tourist-Class fares were cut.

During September, DC-6B VH-INS 'Beltana' entered service.
On 12 November, DC-6B VH-INT 'Olympiana' entered service.
On 07 December, A.N.A. began a weekly Brisbane-Bowen service, using DC-4s.
In late-1956, Arthur Butler, worried by A.N.A.'s control of the majority of B.A.T.'s shares, attempted to issue some 100,000 shares to staff.  A.N.A., somewhat naturally, took legal action against the move.


On 01 January, 1957, Ivan Holyman, founder of A.N.A., was knighted, for his services to aviation.
On 18 January, the Chairman of A.N.A., Sir Ivan Holyman, aged 60, died in his sleep, whilst on holiday in Honolulu.  This was a devastating blow for A.N.A.  The Chairman of Adelaide Steamship Company was chosen as A.N.A.’s Chairman.  However, A.N.A.’s owners & Board had little enthusiasm for a continuing fight by A.N.A., after the loss of Sir Ivan Holyman.
During March, Ansett Transport Industries made a verbal offer, of approximately £3 million (£2 per share), for Australian National Airways & renewed it in writing 21 June.

During May, the Chairman of A.N.A. advised the Minister for Civil Aviation that A.N.A.’s financial situation was such that it could not meet its Federal Government-guaranteed loan repayments.
From early-June a protracted period of negotiations for the purchase of A.N.A. by A.T.I. began.
On 24 June, Ansett Transport Industries made an offer of £3 million for Australian National Airways.
On 30 July, Ansett Transport Industries made a revised firm offer of £3.3 million for Australian National Airways.  Their offer was rejected by the A.N.A. Board on 07 August.

On 23 August, the A.N.A. Board accepted the Ansett Transport Industries' offer of £3.3 million for Australian National Airways, after the withdrawal of a counter-bit from a group led by Ian Holyman.
The owners of A.N.A. ratified the agreement to sell 5 days later & the contract of sale was signed on 03 October.
On 03 October1957,  at 23:40 hours, Ansett Transport Industries Ltd. signed the contract to purchase Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. & on 07 October paid the first £1 million of the £3.3 million purchase price, with £,1,250,000 in one year & the £1,050,000 balance in 2 years.  A.T.I. also took over A.N.A.'s £2,969,000 equipment repayment debt.
A.T.I. also obtained the right to purchase the 52% of the shares held by A.N.A. (through Bungana Investments Pty. Ltd.) in Butler Air Transport, which, in turn, owned Queensland Airlines.

By the end of 1957, Ansett had acquired £194,000 of the £268,000 capital of Butler Air Transport.

On 04 October, ANSETT-ANA was formed.
On 21 October, ANSETT-ANA formally commenced operations; incorporating the services of Ansett Airways & Australian National Airways.

Fleet:

Airspeed AS.57 - During 1951, reports claimed that A.N.A. was close to an order for AS.57 Ambassadors. 
No order occurred.
 
Bristol 175 Britannia - Australian National Airways briefly considered the possibility of ordering Bristol Britannias in 1952.
 No order was placed.

CAC-6 Wackett Trainer - VH-AFB.
 
Canadair DC-4M - During 1947, the U.K. Minister for Civil Aviation announced that initial B.C.P.A. trans-Pacific services would be operated by A.N.A. DC-4Ms.  It didn’t happen.

de Havilland D.H.50 - VH-UEL, UEM, UFE.
 
de Havilland D.H.60 - VH-UIA, ULH, UND, UNP, UNU, UOK, UPD.
 
de Havilland D.H.82 - VP-CBF.

de Havilland D.H.83 - VH-UQM.

de Havilland D.H.84 - VH-URD, URE, URG.

de Havilland D.H.86 - VH-USW, UUB.
 
de Havilland D.H.89 - VH-ADE, UFF, UOO, UVI, UVT, UXT, UXZ, (UZA), (UZB), UZY.

Bristol 170 Freighter - G-AICL, VH-INJ, INK, INL.
 
Bristol 171 Sycamore - VH-INO (VH-INQ was ordered by A.N.A., but delivered to ANSETT-ANA).

Consolidated PBY-5 - A24-37, A24-40 & A24-103 were purchased from the RAAF 15/10/46, for £1,000 each, but never registered to, or operated by, A.N.A.  Used for DC-3 spares.

Douglas DC-2 - VHCCF, VHCCG, VHCCH, VHCCI, VHCDM(?),VHCRJ, VHCZJ, VHCZK, PK-AFJ, PK-AFK, VH-ADQ, ADZ, AEN, ARB, ARC, CRH, USY, UXJ,  VH-UYB, UYC, (VH-UYS?).

Douglas DC-3 - VH-ABR, ACB, AEO, AEP, AEQ, AER, AES, AET, AEV, AFK (?), ANH, ANI, ANJ, ANK(1), ANK(2), ANL, ANM(1, 2), ANN, ANO, ANP, ANQ, VH-ANR, ANS, ANT, ANU, ANV, ANW, ANX, ANY(1), ANY(2), ANZ, AVL. AVM, BBV, EAN, INB, INC, IND, INE, INF, ING, INI, INM, VH-INN, TAH, UZJ, UZK.  A.N.A. crew also flew VH-TAE 04/03/55, TAF 01/04/55 & TAW 22/03/55, but it is not certain whether A.N.A., or TAA, services. VHCCD, VHCDA, VHCDB(1 & 2), VHCDC(1 & 2), VHCDD (1 & 2), VHCDE (1 & 2), VHCDG (1 & 2), VHCDH, VHCDI, VHCDK (2), (VHCFB), VHCFF, (VHCGC), VHCHB, VHCTA, VHCTD, VHCTN, VHCTQ, VHCXD, VHCXF(?),VHCXH, VHCXL(1 & 2).   VP-CAR/CAS/CAT/CBA.

A.N.A. planned a 5th & 6th DC-3 before World War II.  They were never delivered.  Names ‘Coolana’ & ‘Lewana’ may have been allocated.

Douglas DC-4 - VH-ANA, ANB, ANC, AND, ANE, ANF(1), (ANF (2)), ANF(3), ANG(1), ), (ANG (2)), ANG(3), INX, INY(1 & 2), INZ.

Douglas DC-5 - VHCXC, VH-ARD.

VHCXB - Some reports have suggested that DC-5 call-sign VHCXB may have been allocated for transfer to A.N.A., prior to its loss & it has therefore also been included.  Although at least one report suggested that VHCXA was also operated by A.N.A., this appears doubtful & it has not been included.

Douglas DC-6/DC-6B - VH-BPE, BPF, BPG, BPH, INH, INS, INT, INU, INV, INW.

Fokker F.27 Friendship - A.N.A. evaluated the F.27 during the mid-1950s.
G.A.L. ST-12 - VH-UTM.
G.A.L. ST-25 - VH-UJV, UUV.

Handley Page Hermes - A.N.A. considered purchasing Hermes, including six 2nd-hand aircraft from B.O.A.C., during 1949-1953.  At the September 1950 Farnborough Air Show, Ivan Holyman stated that A.N.A. was examining the proposed turboprop-powered Hermes Vs.  DC-6s/DC-6Bs were eventually ordered in 1953.

Handley Page HPR-3 - ‘Heralds’ were ordered 23/02/55, for delivery in 1957.  An announcement on 02/08/55 advised a provisional order for 24 (for both A.N.A. & some smaller airlines), at £212,500 each.  It is believed that 18 of the 24 were for A.N.A.’s use.  The ‘provisional’ order was later cancelled.

Lockheed 10 Electra - VH-AAU, ABV, ABW, UXH, UZO, UZP.

Lockheed 14 - VH-ADT, AEW, VHCXJ.

Lockheed 18 Lodestar - VHCAF, VHCAG, VHCAH, VHCAJ, VHCEC, VHCEH, VHRAA.

Percival Gull Six - VH-UTP.

Short S.16 Scion 2 - VH-UTV, UVQ.

Short S.23/S.33 ‘C Class’ - VH-ABB, ABG, ACD.


Information Source: Fred Niven

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