1930 ANA Inaugural Service Sydney-Melbourne

Following the eventual success of their trans-Pacific flight of 1928, and their triumphant return flight to New Zealand shortly afterward, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and C.T.P. Ulm were determined to establish an airline to link the east coast of Australia from Hobart to Brisbane. Building on their fame and track record, they managed to raise the capital necessary to purchase a fleet of four Avro X aircraft, licence built versions of their tried and trusted Fokker FVIIa/3m Southern Cross. In keeping with the fame of Kingsford Smith and Ulm, the Avros were all given names with the prefix "Southern...". The Commonwealth Government (through the CAB) would not subsidise the services, but offered 8/- per lb to the company for all mail flown.

By the beginning of 1930 the airline, named Australian National Airways Ltd. (ANA), was ready to commence operations. The first service was flown from Sydney to Brisbane on 1 January. Services between Sydney and Melbourne were commenced on 1 June with flights both ways.

This is a Registered cover, one of 1,000 items carried, flown on the first ANA service Sydney-Melbourne aboard Avro X VH-UMG Southern Star, pilots G U "Scotty" Allan and O B Hall. The cover is signed by Allan. A 1½ d post-paid envelope was used with the addition of two 3d Air Mail Service stamps, postmarked in Sydney on 31 May 1930. A "By Air Mail" etiquette and an oblong Sydney "Air Mail" cachet were also applied. The cover was backstamped on arrival in Melbourne on June 2nd at the GPO and also at North Melbourne where the letter was addressed.

(Phil Vabre collection)

Click here to see one of ANA's Avro Xs - VH-UMI Southern Moon


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