Connellan Airways' Services

Two Connellan Airways brochures: The Never Never Mailman, a publicity brochure, and the 1 January 1957 timetable.

Both measured 272 x 220 mm and were triple folded.

(Ian Leslie collection)

Connellan Airways also put out a Station Information Booklet titled What You Can Do With Your Air Service. The booklet noted that it was a condition of the Connellan Airways service that all Station personnel were supplied with copies of the booklet. To that end, the booklet had a hole punched in one corner with the adjacent instruction to "Please insert string and hang in reading room." The booklet also noted that "All pages [are] printed on one side only and perforated for your convenience"!

Whilst passing an idle few moments in the 'reading room', the Station hand could learn quite a bit about Connellan Airways. Firstly, the booklet elaborated on the history and ethos of the airline. The airline's motto, Crescite Vel Perite, echoed the common feeling among white Australians of the day toward their vast outback - 'Populate or Perish'. The company logo (below) showed a camel and an aeroplane superimposed on a winged map of the Northern Territory. "Civilisation must still for a while hold hands with barbarism - just as the aeroplane co-operates with the camel, without entirely superseding it, in this land of contradictions - where a roof over one's head at night is still superfluous, yet where people are far more air-minded than in any city."


Services operated to a strict schedule, with pilots permitted to be a maximum of 10 minutes early and 10 minutes late. Stations were not flown over, unless the aircraft was more than 10 minutes late and notice of the delay was not able to be passed on by radio. The Flying Doctor radio network, and to a lesser extent the DCA Aeradio network, was used to pass on alterations to the timetable up the line.


"Smoke-ohs are provided at many aerodromes by the Station people, and these are very much appreciated. However, sometimes the Stations provide smoke-ohs when the schedule does not allow the pilot sufficient time to have it. This puts him in a very embarrassing position...". Stations were asked to write to the Company if they were considering providing a smoke-oh.

Meals and Accommodation

"Meals and accommodation are provided for our pilots with or without charge, as the Station desires. If passengers are accommodated or served with meals any charge involved is payable direct by the passenger."

Connellan Airways ad

Radio Communications

Radio communication was of great importance in both keeping track of the schedule and ensuring the safety of the aircraft in the event of problems. There were two radio communications networks used - the DCA Aeradio network and the Royal Flying Doctor Service network. "Our aircraft usually transmit on a frequency of 8939 kcs (33 metres); and Aeradio reply on the same frequency. The Aeradio stations which usually work our aircraft are Alice Springs, Wyndham, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Darwin."

Stations could have their transceivers equipped with 8939 kcs and use that frequency to ask Aeradio about the movements of the Connellan aircraft, and also to give weather and aerodrome reports to be passed on to the pilot. Stations were, however, reminded that pilots would make certain reports to Aeradio and even if the aircraft itself could not be heard, movement information could usually be obtained from monitoring the Aeradio repeat-backs as, in those days, the whole transmission was read back to the pilot.

Economy of Services

"In general, we would like to point out to Station people, that there are many ways in which they can increase our revenue earning traffic and do themselves a good turn at the same time. A little thought will show that in many cases where inter-Station travel or travel to town and back is made by Station utility, it would be cheaper to use our services. In many other cases a little thought will show that air freight on commodities really pays."

See the next in this series on Connellan Airways

Read Ian Leslie's reminiscences of Connellan Airways

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