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A Connellan Airways plane visiting the Roper River Mission.

Connellan Airways (later Connair) was an Australian air services company that was founded by Edward Connellan and operated in northern Australia.

The beginnings

Pilot Edward Connellan conducted two aerial surveys of the Northern Territorymarker in 1938, and after discussion with the Federal Minister responsible for the Northern Territory, John McEwen, undertook a fortnightly mail run between Alice Springsmarker and Wyndhammarker, Western Australia and a contract with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Post World War II

In the midst of World War II Connellan consolidated his air services, which had grown viable and included more routes, and registered Connellan Airways on 23 July 1943. In the post war years Connellan Airways grew, acquiring new routes and equipment. In February 1951 it became a limited company, with many of the shares held by station people and staff. In 1963 Connellan Airways became a regular public transport operator. In 1970 the name was changed to Connair. Connair faced financial difficulty in the 1970s and was sold to East-West Airlines on 14 March 1980. It went into liquidation shortly after.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service continued to charter Connellan Airways aircraft up to 1965, when it purchased two aircraft from the company, but continued using Connellan pilots until 1973.

Upon being sold, the Connellan Airways Trust was setup.


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