Friday, July 06, 2007

New England's East-West Airlines - Introduction

Graphic: East West Airlines travel advertisement. Especially in its early days, the airline depended heavily on tourist promotions to support its scheduled services with their sometimes low and variable traffic.

Last September I wrote an introductory post on Don Shand, the founder of East-West Airlines.

An interesting introductory history of the airline focused especially on the Hudson connection and written by Roger McDonald can be found on the adastron site. I quote from the introduction:

East-West Airlines Ltd., formed at Tamworth NSW in late 1946, commenced operations between Tamworth and Sydney on June 23, 1947.

The company had one of the longest and safest associations with civil Lockheed Hudson aircraft compared with any other operator of the type in Australia. The company went on to operate DC-3, Fokker F-27, F-28, BAe-146-300 and B727-200 aircraft on a route structure that at one time, crossed Australia from north to south and east to west.

In August 1982, control of the company passed from many small shareholders, the majority of whom were from the Tamworth region, to a new controlling shareholder. The company was subsequently re-sold twice before it was acquired in July 1987 by Ansett Transport Industries Ltd who maintained its identity with a vastly different route structure.

Following substantial losses, all services and aircraft were integrated into Ansett Airlines effective October 31, 1993 with the company officially ceasing to trade on December 31, 1993 although the company structure remains as a registered identity.

The East-West story is a fascinating one and deserves to be more widely remembered. So this is a note to myself to write more about it.

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