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. 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.

On 1 July, Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. was incorporated.

On 2 November, Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. (A.N.A.) began operations incorporating the operations of Holyman’s Airways & Adelaide Airways.

On 8 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 1 July 1942.

On 25 May, A.N.A.’s 1st D.H.89 Rapide, VH-UXT ‘Mundoora’ entered service.

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 1 July 1942.

On 31 October, Australian National Airways introduced the DC-3 VH-UZK ‘Kurana ‘into service. This was the 1st of 4 introduced before World War II.

On 13 November, A.N.A. introduced twice-daily DC-3 services Sydney-Melbourne.

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.

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.

On 6 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 9 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 16 December, 1947, A.N.A. began five times weekly Melbourne-Deniliquin services, using DC-3s.

By end-1947, A.N.A. served 47 airports, from Perth to Horn Island; by far the biggest route structure of any Australian airline.

On 29 April, 1948, A.N.A. operated its last DC-4 trans-Pacific service for British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines.

On 1 June, A.N.A. acquired a 35% interest in Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. This was increased to 37.19% in April, 1950 & to 39.69% in 1951, but was reduced to only 16% by 1957, as more Cathay Pacific shares were issued.

On 4 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 4 January, 1949, A.N.A. introduced Douglas DC-4s Adelaide-Perth.

On 15 February, 1952, A.N.A. began Sydney-Hobart non-stop DC-4 services, using DC-4 VH-ANB ‘Lackrana’.

On 7 March  1955, A.N.A.’s first DC-6B, VH-INH ‘Bungana’ entered service, on a promotional Melbourne-Hobart flight. It commenced scheduled services 9 March. Their 2nd DC-6B VH-INU ‘Kwinana’ entered service later in March.

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.L.M.

On 1 January, 1957, Ivan Holyman, founder of A.N.A., was knighted, for his services to aviation.

On 3 October, at 2340 hours, Ansett Transport Industries Ltd. signed the contract to purchase Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. & on 7 October paid the first £1m of the £3.3m purchase price, with £1,250,000 in one year & the £1,050,000 balance in 2 years.

On 4 October, ANSETT-ANA was formed.

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

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