Airlines Of Australia 1936

IATA Code: -

ICAO Code: -

Known As: NEAL

Full Name: Airlines of Australia LTD

Country: Australia

Call sign: -

Objects in Collection

Brief History

During August, 1934, George Albert ‘G.A.’ Robinson, of New England Airways, announced an agreement with the British Pacific Trust for the proposed formation of a new company, to be called Airlines of Australia Limited, which would incorporate New England Airways & seek major development of Australian airline services.

On 04 August, 1935, New England Airways announced that the formation of a new company was in progress.  More detail was announced on 09 September. On 04 October, Airlines of Australia Ltd. was registered, in Sydney, to take over the operations of New England Airways Ltd. 

The new company was registered for the purpose of acquiring the main assets & goodwill of NEA, together with its aircraft (3 ten-passenger Avro 618s & 3 three-passenger G.A.L. ST-12 Monospars, 1 Ryan B.1 & 1 D.H.60)), plant & equipment, plus the manufacturing plant, hangar & aerodrome of the Larkin Supply Company Ltd (in liquidation), owned by NEA.  The value of NEA's assets was set at £24,857, to be covered by the issue of 16,795 fully-paid ordinary shares & the new company taking over £8,062 debt for the purchase of 3 Monospar aircraft.  In addition 1,290 fully-paid Deferred Shares were to be issued to NEA, to account for goodwill.   In total 1 million £1 shares (995,000 Ordinary & 5,000 Deferred) were to be issued, with 899,205 to be held in reserve. 

The British Pacific Trust held 60% of the shares, with the shareholders of New England Airways holding the balance.  It was to have a capital of £1 million, with operations planned to begin in 1936.
On 30 November, restrictions, imposed on importing American aircraft, were lifted, initially allowing the import of such aircraft as Stinson Model As & Reliants, Lockheeds & Douglas DC-2s.

This was to have a very significant, positive effect on the future of Australian civil aviation.  Airlines of Australia Ltd. later applied to import Stinson Tri-Motors.

On 01 January, 1936, Airlines of Australia began operations.
On 20 January, Airlines of Australia (A.O.A.) announced an order for three Stinson Model A Tri-Motors, for their Sydney-Brisbane services.  A 4th was ordered later. The 1st arrived at Sydney by ship 17 March.
On 24 April, Airlines of Australia introduced its 1st Stinson Model A onto its Sydney-Lismore-Brisbane service.  VH-UGG operated the 1st service, breaking the existing time record (2 hours 45 mins.) The service proved so successful that the Company soon introduced twice daily (morning & afternoon) services.

It then went on to Cairns, back to Brisbane & Sydney & then on to Melbourne.  The Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne trip took just 7 hours (20 minutes less than the best time ever previously recorded).
On 22 May, the inaugural Airlines of Australia Mt Isa-Townville service was operated.
During June, the Company’s 2nd Stinson Model-A, VH-UHH, joined the fleet.  VH-UKK followed in August & VH-UYY in December.  VH-UYY was the last Model A built.

On 14 September, Airlines of Australia purchased the assets & took over the operations of Rockhampton Aerial Services Ltd. & began operating Rockhampton-Brisbane.

During September, A.N.A., via its newly-formed Bungana Investments Pty. Ltd., made a £100,000 offer for the shares in Airlines of Australia Ltd., (60%) held by the British Pacific Trust. The offer was withdrawn, when it was found that the airline’s Articles of Association limited the trust’s voting power to just 25%.

On 12 October, Airlines of Australia commenced services Sydney-Newcastle.  They were suspended on 25 December.
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., (60%) held by the British Pacific Trust.  The sale was completed
08 March, 1937.  

On 19 February, 1937, A.O.A.’s Stinson Model A VH-UHH ‘City of Brisbane’ crashed in the Lamington Park, Qld.; its eventual finding, some 10 days later, leading to one of the most famous Australian aviation stories.
On 25 February, Airlines of Australia began weekly Townsville-Charters Towers-Hughenden-Richmond-Julia Creek-Cloncurry-Mt. Isa services.

On 08 March, A.N.A.'s 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, although not immediate control.  Airlines of Australia continued to operate Sydney-Brisbane-Cairns until 1 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 23 March, Australian New Guinea Airlines Pty. Ltd. was formed, in which QANTAS & Airlines of Australia Ltd. were equal parties, to bid for the Sydney to Rabaul service (using A.O.A. Stinsons/DC-2s Sydney-Townsville & QANTAS D.H.86s Townsville-Salamaua-Rabaul).  It lost the contract bid & never began operations.
On 28 March, Stinson Model A VH-UGG  ‘City of Lismore’ crashed whilst taking off from Archerfield, Brisbane.rch Stinson Model A VH-UGG

On 14 April, A.O.A. announced an order for a Douglas DC-2.  VH-UYC entered service on 1 August.
On 14 April, Airlines of Australia announced the order for its first Douglas DC-3, for £35,000.  VH-UZJ ‘Kyilla’, Australia’s 1st DC-3, arrived in September & entered service 12 November.

By 01 May, Airlines of Australia served Sydney-Grafton (optional)-Lismore-Brisbane, Brisbane-Maryborough-Bundaberg-Rockhampton-Mackay-Townsville, Townsville-Innisfail-Cairns, Townsville-Charters Towers-Hughenden-Richmond-Julia Creek-Cloncurry-Mt Isa & Rockhampton-Clermont-Mt. Coolon.
On 17 May, A.O.A. trialed Junkers Ju86Z-1 VH-UYA ‘Lawrence Hargrave’ Sydney-Lismore-Brisbane-Townsville service, returning 20 May.  It experienced a number of problems with its diesel engines & was not purchased.
On 17 May, A.O.A. began twice-weekly Cairns-Cooktown services.

During mid-1937, Airlines of Australia hired its 1st 2 air hostesses - Laurie Steele & Phyl Currie.
On 01 August, Airlines of Australia's 1st Douglas DC-2, VH-UYC, entered 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’.
On 12 November, Douglas DC-3 VH-UZJ 'Kyilla', Australia's first DC-3, entered service.

During May, 1938, Airlines of Australia commenced trial services Between Brisbane & Rockhampton & Brisbane/Sydney & Lismore.
On 04 July, Airlines of Australia’s Rockhampton-Mt. Coolan services were transferred to P.H. Moody Air Taxis.
On 25 October, Airlines of Australia took over North Queensland Airways Pty. Ltd., which went into liquidation.  A.O.A. took over N.Q.A.’s operations on that date.  This gave A.O.A. a route structure from Horn Island & such places as Burketown, Croydon & Normanton, in the north, to Sydney, in the south.

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.

During 1938, Airlines of Australia began Cairns-Rutland Plains services.

During January, 1939, AOA began operating Tugan LJW.7 Gannet VH-UVU.  It was sold to Butler Air Transport in October, 1940.

On 11 March, AOA discontinued its intermediate services to Rockhampton - towns between Brisbane & Rockhampton were served by the Townsville mail plane.  The Sunday morning service to Rockhampton continued.  AOA also temporarily discontinued services between Brisbane/Sydney &Lismore, due to lack of patronage.  Services to/from Lismore recommenced 12 September.

On 29 May, A.O.A. began Sydney-Brisbane night services (probably Australia’s first), using DC-3 VH-UZJ ‘Kyilla’.
On 12 September services to./from Lismore recommenced.

For the year ending 30 June, 1940, Airlines of Australia received an total subsidy of £49,440 for its services Sydney-Brisbane 13 times weekly, using DC-2s, Brisbane-Townsville 7 times per week, using D.H.86s, Townsville-Cairns 14 times per week, using D.H.86s & D.H.89s, Cairns-Cooktown 3 times per week, using D.H.89s, Cairns-Wenlock once per fortnight, using D.H.89s & Cairns-Burketown, weekly, using D.H.89s.  It also received PMG airmail payments for its fortnightly D.H.84 Normanton-Koolatah-Normanton services.

On 01 July, 1942, Airlines of Australia Ltd. was completely absorbed by Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd.

A.O.A. served the following destinations at some stage :

Brisbane, Bundaberg, Burketown, Cairns, Charters Towers, Clermont, Cloncurry, Cooktown, Grafton, Hughenden, Innisfail, Julia Creek, Lismore, Mackay, Maryborough, Mt. Coolan, Mt. Isa, Newcastle, Richmond, Rockhampton, Sydney, Townsville & Wenlock.


Avro 618 Ten        VH-UNJ, UPI.
Codock L.J.W. 6        VH-URP.
de Havilland D.H.60    VH-UNU, UPV.
de Havilland D.H.80    VH-UPA, UPO, UQL.
de Havilland D.H.84    VH-URE, URG, UXK.
de Havilland D.H.89    VH-ADE, UBN, UFF, UVS, UVT, UXT, UUO, UZY.
Douglas DC-2        VH-UXJ, UYB, UYC.
Douglas DC-3        VH-UZJ.
G.A.L. ST-12        VH-UTH, UTK, UTM.
G.A.L. ST-18        Ordered, but never delivered.  Replaced by Stinson Model A Tri-Motors.
Junkers Ju86B        VH-UYA.
Lasco Lascoter        VH-UKT.
Stinson Model A        VH-UGG, UHH, UKK, UYY.
Tugan LJW.7 Gannet    VH-UVU.
Vultee V.1A        An order for a single Model V.1A was considered late-1935/early-1936.  No order was placed.

Information Source: Fred Niven

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