The most striking feature of the Airlines of New Zealand DC-3 was its Viewmaster windows. Ansett Transport Industries’ executive director, Ronald Walker, who was on board the inaugural flight told the Oamaru Mail that the two five-feet panoramic windows on either side of the fuselage give passengers a grand view. He was in New Zealand to promote air tours of New Zealand. He said that statistics showed that the average Australian tourist spent 10 to 14 days on tour in New Zealand and his company would provide 10-day package tours, which would enable Australians to see the beauties of the countryside, particularly the Alps and fiords of the South Island. The tourist has limited time available and it is necessary to show him as much as possible. Much of the country can be seen while the plane is in the air.
A third Viewmaster, ZK-CAW, was added to the fleet in October 1961. Normally Airlines of New Zealand’s flights south of Christchurch were operated thrice weekly though daily flights were offered in peak holiday periods. With the prospect of prosperous 1961/1962 summer the company entered a three month for a fourth DC-3, G-AMKE, from British company, Air Links.
The beginning of 1964 saw a change of name and branding. The “A of NZ” markings on the tail gave way to the SPANZ roundel.
From the 22nd of March 1965, after much lobbying, SPANZ was granted a contract for the carriage of air mail. First day covers were issued to mark the event.
|The first four photos show Douglas DC-3 ZK-BYD at Alexandra on 3 January 1966|
|Can anyone name the pilot???|
|The following day, 4 January 1966. Douglas DC-3 ZK-BYE was doing the service through Alexandra|
SPANZ always struggled on lean routes. While towns like Alexandra were incredibly loyal to SPANZ the company always struggled financially and on the 28th of February 1966 SPANZ’s valiant attempt to be New Zealand’s second airline ended and the company ceased all services.