Union Airways of N.Z. Ltd

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Union Airways of N.Z. Ltd
De Havilland DH86 Express ZK-AEG over Dunedin, NZ.JPG
A Union Airways de Havilland DH.86 Express flies over Dunedin.
Founded 5 January 1936
Ceased operations 1947

Union Airways of N.Z. Ltd was New Zealand's first major airline.


The Union Steam Ship Company took shares in East Coast Airways in 1934 and in Cook Strait Airways in 1935, and later that year amalgamated these into a new national airway, on 5 January 1936, opening services between Palmerston North and Dunedin via Blenheim and Christchurch. Equipped with a variety of deHavilland types and later Lockheed Electras, in June 1937 a twice-daily service, between Auckland and Wellington, was started. By 1939, the company was operating multi-hop flights from Auckland to Dunedin, Palmerston North to Christchurch, Palmerston North to Gisborne, and Auckland to Gisborne. Union had also been instrumental in the establishment of Australian National Airways and TEAL. After the war, Union Airways acquired Lockheed Lodestars. In 1947, the government nationalised Union Airways and formed NAC.

See also[edit]