THE OVERSEAS FLIGHTS
1951, 3 January
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNBy TEAL Short S.45 Solent ZK-AML "Aotearoa ll". The Solent, chartered by the Department of Island Territories flew from Auckland to Evans Bay, Wellington to embark passengers and mail for the Chathams. The return flight from Te Whanga Lagoon was made the same day. ZK-AML then flew from Wellington to Sydney.
1951, 29 January
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNFlight by TEAL Short S.45 Solent ZK-AML "Aotearoa II" chartered by the Department of Island Territories. The Solent flew from Auckland to Evans Bay, Wellington to embark passengers and mail for the Chatham Islands, flying back to Wellington and Auckland on the same day.
1951, 19 March
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNCharter flight by TEAL with Short S.45 Solent ZK-AMN "Awatere". Passengers and mail flew from Evans Bay, Wellington, and the return flight was made the same day.
1951, 15 April
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNFlight by TEAL Short S.45 Solent flying boat on charter to the Department of Island Territories. The Solent flew from Auckland to Wellington where the passengers embarked for the Chathams. The return flight made on the same day.
1951, 15 May
DURING THE WATERFRONT 'LOCKOUT'The Union Steam Ship Co arranged to charter Australian National Airways Douglas DC-4 VH-ANG "Palana" (Captain P.L Taylor) to fly a cargo of bulk raw rubber to Christchurch. The aircraft arrived at Christchurch on 15 May and on its return flight the same day, it carried a small unofficial mail postmarked CHRISTCHURCH 14 MY 51. The covers are addressed to Melbourne and are endorsed "Carried by = Rubber Plane" in handwriting.
1951, 29 May
A FEEDER SERVICE TO BRITISH COMMONWEALTH PACIFIC AIRLINES (BCPA)NZNAC extended its Pacific Service from Nandi, Fiji to Aitutaki, Cook Islands at the same time as Air Tahiti service linked French Polynesia with Nandi. These regional services connected with the BCPA Pacific route from Auckland to Vancouver. Covers have not been reported but may exist.
1951, 28-29 June
MELBOURNE-CHRISTCHURCH AND RETURNTEAL chartered QANTAS DC-4 Skymaster VH-EBM "Philippine Trader" (Captain D.F. McMaster) to commence its new service. Mail closed at Melbourne at 7.00pm on 28 June and letters carried on that date were backstamped CHRISTCHURCH NOON 29 JNE 51. For the return flight the Christchurch mail closed at 8.00am on the 29th and was backstamped Melbourne 9.30pm the same date. Special cachets were applied at Melbourne and Christchurch. A small quantity of souvenir overprinted Qantas aerograms were also flown.
1951, 28 June
AUCKLAND-TONGA FINAL FLIGHT BY NZNACDouglas DC-3 regional service from Auckland to Tonga.
1951, 10 November
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNFlight by TEAL Short S.45 Solent ZK-AMO "Aranui" from Evans Bay, Wellington to the Chatham Islands and return on the same day. Passengers and mail were carried.
1951, 28 November-6 December
CORAL ROUTE PROVING FLIGHTTEAL Short S.45 Solent ZK-AMO "Aparima" (Captains J.R. McGrane and P.F. Le Couteur) left Auckland on 28 for Tahiti via Suva-Aitutaki. It returned to Auckland on 8 December.
1951, 9, 15 December
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDSAnd return flights by TEAL Short S.45 flying boats ZK-AMM "Ararangi" (9th) and ZK-AMN "Awatere" (15th) chartered by the Department of Island Territories to transport schoolchildren home to the Chathams for Christmas holidays. Mail and passengers were flown to and from Evans Bay, Wellington.
1951, 27 December
INAUGURATION OF THE CORAL ROUTE BY TEALShort S.45 Solent flying boat ZK-AMO "Aparima" (Captain J.R. McGrane). Following the survey flight of 27 November-8 December the route was Auckland-Suva-Aitutaki-Papeete. The return service commenced on 31 December and returned to Auckland on 4 January, 1952.
1951, 28 December-1952, 2 January
VANCOUVER-HONOLULU-NANDI-AUCKLAND-SYDNEYInaugurated by Canadian Pacific Air Lines Ltd Canadair C-4 CF-CPJ (Captain R.B. Leslie). The flight arrived at Auckland on 2 January and proceeded to Sydney on the following day.
1952, 1 February
AUCKLAND-VANCOUVER SERVICEInaugurated by Canadian Pacific Air Lines Ltd Canadair C-4CF-CPJ (Captain R.B. Leslie) from Auckland-Nandi-Canton Island-Honolulu-Vancouver. A special flight cachet and datestamp were used on covers at Auckland.
1952, 3 February
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS-AUCKLANDCharter flight by TEAL Short S.45 Solent flying boat ZK-AMO "Aranui" which was flown from Auckland to Evans Bay, Wellington to take aboard passengers and mail for the Chathams. The return flight made the same day was diverted to Auckland because of bad weather but no cachets were applied to mail.
1952, 12 March
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS & RETURNFlight by TEAL Short S.45 Solent flying boat ZK-AMM "Ararangi" carrying passengers and mail.
1952, 5 April
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNBy TEAL Short S.45 Solent ZK-AML "Aotearoa 11" which flew from Auckland to Evans Bay to pick up passengers and mail, returning the same day.
1952, 31 October
FINAL NZNAC FLIGHT OF THE REGIONALAnd South Pacific service Auckland-Nandi-Western Samoa-Aitutaki-Rarotonga before the service was taken over by TEAL.
1952, 9 November 3 and 18 December
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS & RETURNTEAL Short S.45 Solent chartered by the Internal Affairs Department to transport school children and others home for the Christmas vacation. On 9 November the Solent ZK-AMM "Ararangi" made a return flight from Evans Bay, Wellington to the Islands, followed on 3 December by ZK-AML "Aotearoa II" and on the 16th by ZK-AMO "Aranui".
AUCKLAND-RAROTONGA SPECIAL RELIEF FLIGHTBy RNZAF Sunderland flying boat when the Island supply ship M.V. "Maui Pomare" was docked for survey. No identifying markings were used on the mail.
1953, 8 April
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNFlight by TEAL Short S.45 Solent flying boat ZK-AMM "Ararangi" from Evans Bay to the Chathams and returning the same day.
1953, 2 June
NEW ZEALAND-AUSTRALIA-ENGLAND CORONATION AIR MAILFlown by TEAL and QANTAS. Special air mails from many Commonwealth countries were organised to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and in New Zealand a special datestamp was used at Wellington C.P.O. Mail was carried to Sydney by TEAL Short Solent ZK-AMN "Awatere" (Captain P.J. Le Couteur) and from Sydney to Karachi by QANTAS Constellation VH-EAU "Charles Kingsford Smith" (Captain H. Howse). At Karachi Captain E. Meares took over and flew VH-EAU to London. Covers were backstamped by machine LONDON FS. 3 JUNE, 1953 - LONG LIVE THE QUEEN. 1,082 Kg. of mail, including the London bags was flown with many return addressed covers.
1953, 8 June
CORONATION AIR MAIL RETURNED FROM LONDONThe mail from the U.K which included return Coronation covers was 1,075 Kg. plus 450 Kg. of Air Mail flown from Sydney to Wellington by the Short S.45 Solent ZK-AMM "Ararangi" (Captain PJ. Le Couteur).
1953, 17 and 26 July
TRANS-TASMAN RECORD FLIGHTFrom Richmond aerodrome, Sydney to Whenuapai, Auckland. Flight Lieutenant J.LC. Whiteman flew his modified North American F-51D Mustang VH-BDM from overhead Mascot aerodrome to overhead Whenuapai in 3 hours 31 minutes on 17 July. The return flight to Australia was made via Norfolk Island on 26 July.
1953, 11 August
AUCKLAND-NUKUALOFATEAL linked Nukualofa, Tonga into the Short S.45 Solent Coral Route service.
1953, 1 September
CANTERBURY INTERNATIONAL AIR RACEThe RNZAF entry, Handley Page Hastings C.3 NZ5804 (Wing Commander R.F. Watson) of No.41 Squadron flew to Lyneham, Wiltshire, via Singapore and Cyprus, arriving on 11 September. At the start of the race on 8 October the Hastings left London making for Negombo, Ceylon via Athens and Shaibah. An engine fault developed as NZ5804 neared Negombo, and a difficult landing in turbulent conditions caused further damage. The flight was discontinued and after a replacement engine was flown from New Zealand and installed, the Hastings reached Auckland on 20 October. On board were the 63,000 souvenir covers which had been flown to the U.K. as regular air mail and as freight on the return journey. The souvenir covers bore the one shilling and sixpence Coronation commemorative adhesive cancelled with a special datestamp and several explanatory cachets were struck on the reverse of the covers.
1953, 1 October
THE LONDON-CHRISTCHURCH CANTERBURY CENTENNIAL AIR RACEAttracted a variety of competitors, several of which carried mail. These included the RNZAF Hastings (see 1 Sept), the British European Airways Vickers Viscount G-AMAV, and the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Douglas DC-6A PH-TFA "Dr Ir M.H. Damme" (Captain H.A.A. Kooper).
1953, 8-22 October
LONDON-CHRISTCHURCH-AUSTRALIAThe second RAAF entry in the speed section of the Air Race was the Australian Department of Aircraft Production Canberra B.20 A84-201 (Squadron Leader P.F. Raw (pilot), Flying Officer F.N. Davis (second pilot) and Flight Lieutenant W.D. Kerr (navigator). It has been reported that this aircraft carried some unofficial covers from the U.K. to N.Z. but they were not posted until the aircraft returned to Australia.
1953, 16 October
CHRISTCHURCH-AMSTERDAM RETURN FLIGHTOf the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Douglas DC6A Liftmaster PH-TFA "Dr Ir M.H. Damme" after winning the Handicap Section of the Canterbury Centennial Air Race and bringing 64 fare-paying Dutch emigrants. A special KLM souvenir cover was prepared for the return flight to Holland and a cachet struck in red showing a side view of the DC6A with the words "Special Flight by KLM -Christchurch-Amsterdam - October. 1953".
1953, 19 November
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNBy TEAL Short S.45 Solent flying boat. ZK-AMN "Awatere" was flown from Auckland to Evans Bay, Wellington to embark passengers and mail for Te Whanga Lagoon in the Chathams, returning the same day.
1953, 3 December
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNFlight by TEAL Short S.45 Solent flying boat ZK-AMM "Ararangi" on charter to the Department of Island Territories, Passengers and mail were flown to Te Whanga Lagoon and the aircraft returned to Evans Bay the same day.
1954, 13 March
CRASH OF BRITISH OVERSEAS AIRWAYS CORP.Constellation G-ALAM "Belfast" (Captain T.W. Hoyle) at Singapore. 31 passengers and two crew were killed. The resulting fire destroyed much of the mail to the U.K from Australia and New Zealand but some letters were saved on which a cachet was struck in red - SALVAGED MAIL -AIRCRAFT CRASH - SINGAPORE 13.3.54
1954, 7 April
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNFlight by TEAL Short S.45 Solent flying boat ZK-AMM "Ararangi" (Captain PJ. Le Couteur, Second Officer M.R.B. Wallace). The Solent flew from Auckland to Evans Bay, Wellington to embark passengers and mail for the Chathams and on the same day returned to Wellington. After unloading it departed direct to Sydney but carried no mail.
1954, 14 May
SYDNEY-AUCKLAND FIRST DOUGLAS DC-6 TRANS TASMAN TEAL SERVICEBy ZK-BGA "Aotearoa III" (Captain J.W. Knowling, Captain A. Rayment).
1954, 15 May
AUCKLAND-VANCOUVER FINAL FLIGHTOf British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines (BCPA).
1954, 15 May
AUCKLAND-NANDITEAL introduced Douglas DC-6 on to the New Zealand-Fiji service.
1954, 22-24 June
WHENUAPAI-NUKUALOFABy six Bristol Freighters of No.41 (Transport) Squadron, RNZAF carrying equipment for the Tongan Defence Force. All surface rate mail held at the Auckland Chief Post Office for Tonga was conveyed to Nukualofa on these flights which were commanded by Flight Lieutenant JA. Houlton on the 22nd, Flying Officer M.C. Preece on the 23rd and Squadron Leader R.A. Manners on the 24th. No distinctive markings were applied and few covers exist.
1954, 25 and 27 June
FINAL FLIGHTS OF TEAL SHORT 5.45 SOLENT FLYING BOAT TRANS TASMAN SERVICE.The last Wellington-Sydney flight took place on the 25th and the last Sydney-Auckland service by Short S.45 ZK-AML "Aotearoa II" (Captain J.S. Shepherd) on 27 June.
1954, 28 June
CHRISTCHURCH-CHATHAM ISLANDS AIR DROPOf medical supplies. A Hastings from No 40 Squadron, RNZAF, was flown from Whenuapai to RNZAF Station, Wigram where it picked up urgently needed medical supplies at the request of the Island Resident Medical Officer, Dr R.G. Howe. The Hastings then flew to the Chathams where the medicines contained in a storepedo were dropped. Two bags, each containing 25 lbs of letter mail which had been awaiting a ship at Lyttelton, were rushed to Wigram and were also dropped from the aircraft over the Island.
1954, 29-30 June
SYDNEY-CHRISTCHURCH AND RETURNThe TEAL Douglas DC-6 trans- Tasman service was inaugurated on 29 June by ZK-BGA "Aotearoa III" (Captain J. Bonnington, Captain J.R. McGrane). The return flight to Sydney took place on 30 June. A special cachet was struck in violet on covers from Sydney, and from Christchurch. Some covers were flown on both flights. (i.e Sydney-Christchurch-Sydney).
1954, 21 July
AUCKLAND-RAROTONGA AND RETURNAn aircraft of No. 41 Squadron, RNZAF (Squadron Leader K.B. Smith) on a service flight to Rarotonga, offered to carry any surface rate mail held at Auckland C.P.O. No special identification was applied to covers. Mail was also carried on the return flight.
1954, 21 September
AUCKLAND-NUKUALOFA-APIAAn aircraft of No.41 Squadron, RNZAF (Flight Lieutenant K.A. Sawyer) was used to carry mail held in the Auckland C.P.O. for Tonga and Western Samoa and also to bring back mail from these Islands. All surface rate mail was flown. No distinctive markings were applied and it is thought that few covers exist.
1954, 8-10 October
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNSpecial flight by Short S.25 Sunderland flying boat (Flight Lieutenant EJ. Tompkins) of No. 5 Squadron, RNZAF, from Evans Bay, Wellington and return. Passengers included a party of Air Department surveyors investigating airfield sites. Mail was also carried and the aircraft and surveyors returned to Wellington on 10 October.
1954, 24 November
AUCKLAND-NUKUALOFAService flight by a Bristol Freighter on No.41 Squadron, RNZAF (Flight Lieutenant W.H. Golden). Four bags of Mail totalling 120 lbs, at an "All Up" surface rates were flown at the request of the Auckland C.P.O. No special identifying markings were applied.
1955, 1 February
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNBy Short 5.25 Sunderland flying boat of No. S Squadron, RNZAF, The flight was arranged by the Department of Island Territories to return children from the Islands to mainland schools. Passengers and accumulated mail were also carried.
1955, 12 April
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNBy Short S.25 Sunderland flying boat of No. 5 Squadron. RNZAF, The flight was arranged by the Department of Island Territories and carried passengers and mail from Evans Bay to Te Whanga Lagoon.
1955, 20 July
AUCKLAND-NANDI AND RAROTONGASpecial flights by Bristol Freighter (Flight Lieutenant B. McGill) of No.41 Squadron, RNZAF, to carry mail to Fiji and Rarotonga. Mail had accumulated at the Auckland Chief Post Office during the prolonged docking of the Island supply ship, the NLV. "Maui Pomare". No identifying markings were applied.
1955, 14 September
AUCKLAND-NORFOLK ISLAND AND RETURNFinal NZNAC Douglas DC-3 flights. The decision of the Australian Government to reduce the "all-up" weight of DC-3s by700 pounds made the service uneconomic for NAC to continue these flights.
1955, 1 November
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNAnsett Flying Boat Services Pty Ltd. Short S-25 Sandringham VH-BRE "Pacific Chieftain" was chartered by the Department of Island Territories to carry passengers and mail from Evans Bay to Te Whanga Lagoon and return.
1955, 6 November
AUCKLAND-NORFOLK ISLAND AND RETURNTEAL inaugurated regular service using Douglas DC-4 VH-EBO "Pacific Trader" chartered from QANTAS. Covers posted in Auckland are backstamped at Norfolk Is on the 7th. This service replaced that of NZNAC on behalf of TEAL (see entry 4 Sept.)
1955, 7-11 November
WELLINGTON-CAMPBELL ISLAND AND RETURNFlight by Short S.25 Sunderland NZ4119 of No. 6 Squadron, RNZAF. The aircraft flew from RNZAF Station, Hobsonville to Evans Nay, Wellington where passengers and mail were taken on board. It then flew to Bluff where it was delayed for four days by bad weather at Campbell Island. The Sunderland arrived at Campbell Island on the 11th at 9.00am. Mail was also carried on the return flight made the same day.
1955, 17, 18, 20 December
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNFlights from Evans Bay, Wellington. Ansett Flying Boat Services Pty Ltd. Short S23 Sandringham VH-BRE "Pacific Chieftain" was chartered by the Department of Island Territories for three return flights carrying passengers and mail.
1955, 22 December
NEW ZEALAND TO WILLIAMS FIELD, McMURDO SOUNDFirst flights to the Antarctic by aircraft of the US Navy Air Development Squadron VX-6. Two Douglas R5D-3 Skymasters (56505 "Rosemary" and 56528 "Carole Jeune") and two Lockheed P2V-2 Neptunes (122465 "Tondemini" and 122466- not named) left Christchurch Airport on 20 December and arrived safely at McMurdo Sound. Two Douglas R4D-5 Skytrains (12418 "Korora" and 17274 "Tawaiki") flew from Wigram to Taieri aerodrome on 20 December from where they were to make the flight south together with two Grumman UF-IL Albatrosses (142428 "Toroa" and 142429 "Shake Rattle and Roll").
1956, 31 January
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNAnsett Flying Boat Services Pty Ltd. Short Sandringham was chartered by the Department of Island Territories to make a return flight between Evans Bay, Wellington and the Chathams.
1956, 24 February
RNZAF STATION, WIGRAM-CAMPBELL ISLANDA RNZAF aircraft on a fisheries protection surveillance flight air dropped a small quantity of mail for the staff of the sub-Antarctic Meteorological Station.
1956, 20 March
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNAnsett Flying Boat Services Pty. Ltd Short Sandringham VH-BRC (Captain L. Butterworth) under charter to the Department of Island Territories. Flight from Evans Bay to Te Whanga Lagoon with passengers and mail.
1956, 13 August
AUCKLAND-SUVA TEMPORARY SERVICEWas commenced by TEAL using the Short Solent flying boats to replace the Douglas DC-6 while Nandi was closed. Some privately printed covers were flown, postmarked AUCKLAND F.M.B. 13 AU 5611.30 AM.
1956, 16 October
INVERCARGILL-McMURDO SOUND FLIGHTBy US. Navy 'Penguin Squadron' VX6 of Operation Deepfreeze, which made a second attempt to fly the Lockheed P2V Neptunes to Antarctica. (see 22 Dec. 1955) After a JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off) from Invercargill Airport the Neptunes reached Williams Field, McMurdo Station although one crashed on landing. A variety of mail was carried by the crews including 300 souvenir 'Penguin Squadron' covers.
1956, 19 October
AUCKLAND-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNShort S.45 Solent flying boat ZK-AMO "Aranui" on charter to RNZAF flying direct from Auckland to the Chathams. This was the last service flight of "Aranui".
1956-7, 18, 20 December and 29 January
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNBy Ansett Flying Boat Services Pty Ltd. Short Sandringham. The aircraft was chartered by the Department of Island Territories to make three return flights from Evans Bay, Wellington. For the flights of 18 and 20 Dec. the Sandringham flew direct from Sydney to Wellington, returning empty after the Chatham flights. On 29 January 1957, the Sandringham (Captain LL Maundrell) flew from Hobart to Bluff with a party of tourists, which he picked up following the flight to the Chathams. No mail was carried on the trans Tasman flights.
1957, 5 February
AUCKLAND-MELBOURNE AND RETURNTrial Douglas DC-6 service by TEAL. A scheduled DC-6 service commenced in October 1957. It is not known whether mail was carried although it is possible that some unofficial covers were flown.
1957, 4-9 February
PARIS-AUCKLAND-PARISFirst flights by TM (Compagnie de Transports Aeriens Intercontinentaux) by Douglas DC-6B F-BGOB (Captain Allais) left Paris on 4 February, arrived Auckland on the 7th and departed on the return flight on the 9th. Covers were postmarked Paris. 4 Feb., and have a rubber stamped framed cachet PREMIER LIAISON AERIENNE -PARIS-AUCKLAND -4 Fevrier 1957' in red. Covers on the return flight were backstamped PARIS AVIATION 10-2-5. A round cachet with the TM motif in the centre and AUCKLAND 7th FEBRUARY 1957 curved within a circle was applied to covers.
1957, 18 March
LYNEHAM (UK)-OHAKEA (NZ)Proving flight by De Havilland D.H.106 Comet C.2 XK695 of No. 216 Squadron, RAF Transport Command. A few covers were flown unofficially with a rubber stamped cachet showing flight details and a further cachet which reads: FIRST RAF COMET 2 FLIGHT -ENGLAND TO NEW ZEALAND (Via CEYLON AND AUSTRALIA). Covers were postmarked OHAKEA AIR FORCE 19 MR 57.
1957, 26 March
OHAKEA-LYNEHAM FLIGHT BY D.H. 106 COMET C.2 XK695Of No.216 Squadron, RAF Transport Command. Covers are struck with a cachet dated 26.3.57 giving details of the flight and backstamped SWINDON WILTS 28 MCH 1957. The cover also bears the cachets ROYAL AIR FORCE -JET AIR MAIL and FIRST RAF COMET 2 FLIGHT - NEW ZEALAND TO ENGLAND - via AUSTRALIA AND CEYLON.
1957, 2 May
MELBOURNE-OHAKEA FLIGHT BY DJL 106 COMET T.2 XK670Of No. 216 Squadron, RAP Transport Command (Squadron Leader J. Harper). Flown covers are similar to those carried on 26 March but are franked with N.Z. Peace stamps and postmarked OHAKEA AIR FORCE 3 MY 57.
1957, 15 May
OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE HAPUPU AIRSTRIP, CHATHAM ISLANDSAfter the withdrawal of the flying boat service, the Hapupu airstrip was developed to NZ Civil Aviation requirements for aircraft up to Douglas DC-3 size. A Civil Aviation Administration DC-3 which made a calibration flight from Paraparaumu to the Chathams brought mail back to Christchurch.
1957, 25 July
OHAKEA-CHATHAM ISLANDS FLIGHTBy RNZAF Douglas Dakota of No.42 Transport Squadron on a training exercise, landing at the Hapupu airstrip. It is reported that some mail was flown but the report is not confirmed.
1957, 10 September
RAOUL ISLAND AIR DROPA Bristol Freighter (Flying Officer B.J. Grigg) of No 41 Squadron. RNZAF flew from Whenuapai to drop mail and supplies to the personnel of the N.Z. Meteorological Station on Raoul Island in the Kermadec group.
1957, 1 October
CHRISTCHURCH-WILIJAMS FIELD, MC MURDO SOUNDFirst flights of 1957-8 Operation Deep Freeze season by US. Navy aircraft. The following aircraft left Christchurch Airport: Douglas R5D-3 Skymaster (56528); Douglas R4D-8 (99853) and Lockheed P2V-7 Neptune (140439). Jet Assisted Take-Off (JATO) was used. Various covers were flown unofficially.
1957, 15 October
CHRISTCHURCH.WILLIAMS FIELD, McMURDO SOUNDFlight by Pan American Airways Boeing Stratocruiser N1O3OV "Clipper America" (Captain Ralph Savory). The Clipper flew from Quonset Point, Rhode Island to Christchurch via San Francisco, Honolulu, Canton Island and Nandi, arriving on the 14th. It left Christchurch Airport for McMurdo Sound at 10.30am on the 15th arriving at Williams Field at 9.30am the following morning. This was the first commercial flight to Antarctica and carried 37 passengers, mainly US. Seabees for construction work at McMurdo Station, and a crew of 6 which included two stewardesses. Mail, including special printed covers was flown to Antarctica and some covers were carried on the return flight.
1957, 14 December-1958, 1 March
CHRISTCHURCH TO CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNFlights from Christchurch Airport to Te Hapupu airstrip by NZNAC Douglas DC-3 chartered by the Department of Island Territories. ZK-APA "Puweto" (Captain P. Matheson) made the flight on the 14th and possibly all of the flights of the charter.
1958, 11 September
30Th ANNIVERSARY OF KINGSFORD SMITH'S FIRST TRANS-TASMAN FLIGHTIn the "Southern Cross". Stamps of a similar design were issued by New Zealand and Australia to commemorate the flight and a special mail was flown by TEAL from Sydney to Christchurch. 57,043 covers were flown including, 8,260 with return Australian postage.
1958, 2 October
PARIS-AUCKLAND-PARISTAI (Compagnie de Transports Aeriens Intercontinentaux) changed its route to include Papeete. (see 1957, 4-9 Feb.)
1958, 14 October
30TH ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST NEW ZEALAND-AUSTRALIA TRANS-TASMAN FLIGHTBy Kingsford Smith in the 'Southern Cross" The N.Z. Post Office arranged a special commemorative mail from Woodbourne, Blenheim where a special cancellation was applied to letters. The mail was then sent to Christchurch to be placed on the scheduled TEAL DC-6 flight to Sydney. A souvenir "two way" folder was produced by the New Zealand and Australian Air Leagues and flown Christchurch (Blenheim)-Sydney-Christchurch. The large mail included a number of special covers.
1958, 26 November
WELLINGTON-CHATHAM ISLANDS AND RETURNFlight by Short Sunderland of No. 6 Maritime Squadron, RNZAF. As officials of the Civil Aviation Administration believed that the safety of operations from the Hapupu airstrip was in doubt the Department of Island Territories arranged with the RNZAF to carry out a series of return flights between Evans Bay and Te Whanga Lagoon.
1958, 7 December
QANTAS INAUGURATED A TRANSPACIFIC SERVICEFrom Melbourne to San Francisco via Auckland but no official mails were reported by the N.Z. Post Office.
1959, 1 April
LYNEHAM (U.K) TO OHAKEA (N.Z.)Flight by D.H.106 Comet C.2 XK696 (Flight lieutenant D. Draper) of No.216 Squadron, RAF Transport Command. A small quantity of unofficial air mail covers was carried. They bore a label reading ROYAL AIR FORCE -JET AIR MAIL and cachet giving details of flight and are franked with N.Z. stamps postmarked OHAKEA AIR FORCE 1 AP 59.
1959, 4 July
AUCKLAND-BRISBANE AND RETURN BY TEAL Douglas DC-6 ZK-BGC "Arahia"(Captain D.W.G. Keesing, Captain PJ. Le Couteur) left Auckland at 6.00am with 17lbs of mail and arrived at Brisbane at 12.30pm. The return flight left Brisbane at 3.00pm with 24lbs of mail and landed at Auckland at 9.00pm.
1959, 15 October- 1 November
LONDON-AUCKLAND-LONDON BRITISH AIRWAYS CORP. (BOAC)Proving flight of De Havilland Comet 4 G-APDC (Captain RE. Millichap). The Comet flew to Christchurch before returning to Auckland on 22 October and London. During the round trip commencing 15 Oct and ending back in London Airport on 1 November, the Comet 4 flew 56,200 miles. Air mail covers inscribed COMET JET MAIL and a cachet in two lines BOAC PROVING FLIGHT - BY COMET 4 AIRLINER and cachet giving flight details, and are signed by the pilot. The covers are postmarked EPSOM SURREY 2 NOV 1959.
1959, 4 November
CHATHAM ISLANDS SUNDERLAND MISHAPRNZAF Sunderland flying boat NZ4111 (Flight lieutenant B. Dwyer) struck a submerged reef while attempting to take-off from the Te Whanga Lagoon, severely damaging the hull. The flying boat was later abandoned. It is believed that some mail was aboard the Sunderland but it was returned to the Waitangi Post Office, Chatham Island, and later forwarded to N.Z. by other means. No identifying markings.
1959, 1-7 December
TASMAN EMPIRE AIRWAYS (TEAL)Introduced the Lockheed L188 Electra on its trans-Tasman routes. Electra ZK-TEA "Aotearoa W" (Captain J.R. McGrane) flew Auckland-Sydney-Auckland on 1 December, and Auckland-Melbourne-Auckland on the 7th.
1960, 1-6 January
NEW-ZEALAND-SYDNEY AND RETURNTEAL introduced the Lockheed Electra on the route Auckland-Nandi. Electra ZK-TEB "Atarau" (Captain E.R. Tredrea) commenced the service on 1 January, returning to Auckland on the 6th. Special commemorative covers were produced by TEAL.
1960, 25 January
CHRISTCHURCH-SYDNEY OR MELBOURNE AND RETURNTEAL introduced Lockheed Electra on these routes. The inaugural flights were made by Electra ZK-TEA "Aotearoa" (Captain J.R McGrane).
1960, 2 February
PARIS-AUCKLAND-PARIS TAIFinal Douglas DC-6B (F-BHEF) service (Captain Vasiu). No official mail was forwarded by the N.Z. Post Office.
1960, 5-6 February
NOUMEA-AUCKLAND AND RETURN SERVICECommenced by TM with Douglas DC-4 FB-ELG (Captain Manolescu). The return flight took place on the 6th.
1960, 5 June
AUCKLAND-BRISBANE AND RETURNTEAL introduced the Lockheed Electras into this route. Special TEAL covers were flown.
1960, 17-18-19 July
AUCKLAND-INVERCARGILL-CAMPBELL ISLAND AIR DROPBristol Freighter NZ5910 (Flight lieutenant A.E. McLeod) of the Transport Support Unit, RNZAF, flew from Whenuapai to Wigram with mails and replacement parts for the Meteorological Base power generator, which had been damaged by waves following the earthquake in Chile. On the 18th, the Freighter flew to Invercargill and Campbell Island but was unable to air-drop through poor visibility and returned to Invercargill. The following day (19th) a successful drop was made.
1960, 26 July
SYDNEY-WELLINGTON AND RETURN TEAL SERVICEBy Lockheed Electra ZK-TEC "Akaroa" (Captain D.W. Keesing), Flight TE 138001 left Sydney at 8.30am carrying 74.5lbs of letter mail and the return flight, TE 167001, left Wellington at 4.45pm with 56lbs of letter mail.
1960, 15 September
RETURN TO AUCKLAND OF THE LAST TEAL SHORT S.45 SOLENT FLYING BOAT ZK-AMO "Aranui"After a farewell flight over the 4,600 miles of the 'Coral Route' under the command of Captain JS. Shepherd. "Aranui" was presented to the Museum of Transport and Technology at Auckland. A few covers were carried by courtesy.