23rd September 2021

Uniform Buttons: Airways of New Zealand

Union Airways of New Zealand

Established in 1935 by  the shipping company Union Steamship Co (see http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/new-zealand-button-history/#Union_Steam_Ship_Co), Union Airways of New Zealand was the first major airline in the country. The first scheduled flight took place in January 1936. They used de Havialland DH86  and Lockheed Electra aircraft.

The Sun (Sydney), 11th April 1935 page 22.

News (Adelaide), 15th February 1936 page 8.

In 1938 the East Coast Airways Ltd., (which had been the first licensed passenger service in NZ in 1935) was merged with Union. After a prolonged negotiation, a trans-Tasman service was established in April 1940 under the control of the Australian, New Zealand and British governments, as well as Qantas, Imperial, and Union Airways (19% share), using Empire flying boats. It was called the Tasman Empire Airways Ltd. (TEAL)

Tasman Empire Airways Ltd

Tasman Empire Airways Limited. Uniform Button [Teal], 2004.452.15. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

Post WW2 the New Zealand government nationalised the airline, with the general manager of Union transferring to the new corporation. The aircraft, timetables and most personnel were also transferred to the new National Airways Corporation.

National Airways Corporation

National Airways Corporation. Button [National Airways Corporation], 2016.187.2. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

Labor Call (Melbourne), 29th August 1946 page 7.

In 1978 the N.A.C. merged with Air New Zealand.

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