Butler Air Transport

IATA Code: -

ICAO Code: -

Known As: Butler

Full Name: Butler Air Transport Ltd

Country: Australia

Call sign: Butler




Objects in Collection







Brief History


During April, 1934, Butler Air Transport Company was formed, as a partnership, by Cecil Arthur Butler & tendered for the Charleville to Cootamundra section of the England to Australia Empire Airmail route.

Arthur Butler had designed & built the Butler BAT aircraft, had flown a Comper Swift to Australia in 1931 & had operated barn-storming & charter services for a number of years.

On 10 December, Butler Air Transport Company began operations, on the Cootamundra-Charleville mail service, via Narromine & Bourke, using 7-seat D.H.84s VH-URV & VH-URU. These services were designed to connect with QANTAS services to Singapore, with onward Imperial Airways connection to London.

On 25 July, 1938, Butler Air Transport announced that it would move its base from Cootamundra to Sydney. That was done later in 1938.

On 31 July, 1939, B.A.T. commenced a Sydney-Cessnock-Mendooran-Torraweenah-Coonamble-Walgett-Bourke-Cunnamulla-Charleville service.

On 24 August, 1940, Adastra Airways ceased passenger services Sydney-Moruya-Bega, as the Australian Commonwealth Government did not renew the contracts, but sold them to Butler Air Transport Company.

On 11 November, Butler Air Transport began a D.H.84 Sydney-Moruya-Bega mail service, replacing Adastra Airways.

During World War II, Butler Air Transport sub-contracted to make Tiger Moth parts & to perform engine overhauls on RAAF Cheetah engines & Avro Ansons.

On 21 March, 1946, Butler Air Transport Company became a public company & was formally registered as Butler Air Transport Pty. Ltd.

During 1947, Butler Air Transport acquired Truth & Sportsman’s 50% of the shares of Aircrafts Pty. Ltd. By year’s end it held 93% of the shares.

On 17 May, 1948, New England Airways’ route licences & some aircraft were purchased by Butler Air Transport.

On 3 October, when Ansett Transport Industries Ltd. signed the contract to purchase Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd., A.T.I. also purchased the 52% of the shares held by A.N.A. (via Bungana Investments Pty. Ltd.) in Butler Air Transport Ltd., which owned Queensland Airlines.

By end-April, 1958, A.T.I. had acquired 99.8% of acquired Butler Air Transport Ltd. &, consequently, its subsidiary Queensland Airlines Pty. Ltd. They soon acquired full control. The paid-up capital of Butler Air Transport Ltd., at the time of the takeover was £274,570.

On 6 November, Butler Air Transport Pty. Ltd. was renamed Butler Air Transport Pty. Ltd.
During March, 1959, the airline introduced Convair CV-440s VH-BZF & VH-BZH. VH-BZH remained with the airline until 12 January, 1960 & VH-BZF until 11 July, 1960.

During August, Convair CV-440 VH-BZI joined the fleet, remaining until 14 July, 1960. CV-440 VH-BZO was also chartered from Ansett for an unknown period.

On 17 December, Butler Air Transport Pty. Ltd. was renamed Airlines of New South Wales Pty Ltd. The 1st operation under the new name was on 19 December.

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