Rhodesia United Air Carriers

United Air Carriers

Harare

Rhodesia United Air Carriers (RUAC) was a company formed in 1957 by the amalgamation of several existing charter companies; Air Carriers Limited and Flights (1956) Limited of Salisbury, and Fishair of Victoria Falls.

Commercial Air Services (Rhodesia) of Bulawayo was integrated into RUAC in August 1960, following the merger of its holding company, Airwork Ltd (also known as Airwork Services), with Hunting-Clan (which had owned Air Carriers Ltd), a subsidiary of the maritime company Clan Line.

RUAC was the Beechcraft agent for Central Africa. It operated a fleet of Beech Barons, a Beech Queen Air, several Piper Apache and Aztec aircraft, a Cessna 180 and a Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander.

The company had bases at Salisbury (head office and maintenance base), Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.

Postcards

1956 – Central African Airways – First Flight of Vickers Viscount

Central African Airways

1956 – First Flight of Vickers Viscount

On April 25th, 1956, Central African Airways took delivery of its first Vickers Viscount aircraft, YP-YNA “Malvern”. It entered service on My 28th, 1956, completing a flight from Salisbury to Ndola. Five letters were carried on the service.

First Flight Covers

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Central African Airways – Airways Letter Service

Central African Airways

Airways Letter Service

On 1st April, 1955, Central African Airways introduced the Airways Letter Service. The service ran between Bulawayo and Salisbury.

Letters were accepted up to 30mins at Airports – or 90mins at Town Terminals – prior to the aircraft scheduled departure time. Letters were to bear stamps of the Federation of Rhodesia & Nyasaland to the value of normal postage and the Airways Letter stamps available at the airport/terminal.

The Airways Letter surcharge rate was:

  • 6d – weight not exceeding 2oz
  • 1s – over 2oz but not exceeding 4oz.

Letters over 4oz were not accepted.

By 1959 Lusaka, Ndola, Livingstone and Blantyre were added to the service. In 1960 the 2oz letter rate was increased to 1s (or part thereof). By 1961, Fort Jameson, Lilongwe, Kariba and Mongu had also been added to the service.

On 1st August, 1963, CAA introduced an improved service which included:

  • Three specially printed covers that were available free of charge to customers
  • Telephone advice to addressees of mail delivery (excluding where it required a trunk call).

The rate was increased to 3/6d.

Airways Letter Stamps

Central African Airways

Events

1959 – B.O.A.C. – First Comet IV Regular Service (Johannesburg to London)

British Overseas Airways Corporation

1959 – First Comet IV Regular Service (Johannesburg to London)

From Johannesburg to London
From Salisbury to Rome
From Salisbury to Nairobi
From Salisbury to London

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1959 – B.O.A.C. – First Comet IV Regular Service (London to Johannesburg)

British Overseas Airways Corporation

1959 – First Comet IV Regular Service (London to Johannesburg)

From Kenya to Johannesburg
From London to Johannesburg
From Sudan to Johannesburg

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1959 – British Overseas Airways Corporation – First Comet IV Regular Service

British Overseas Airways Corporation

First Comet IV Regular Service

On 2nd December, 1959, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) inaugurated the first flight from London to Johannesburg using the Comet IV (London to Salisbury section). The 17.5 hr scheduled flight left London via Rome, Khartoum, Nairobi to Salisbury. Then Salisbury to Johannesburg.

First Flight Covers

1957 – B.O.A.C. – First Britannia Regular Service (Johannesburg to London)

British Overseas Airways Corporation

1957 – First Britannia Regular Service (Johannesburg to London)

From South Africa to Southern Rhodesia
From Southern Rhodesia to Italy
From Southern Rhodesia to London
From Southern Rhodesia to Sudan

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1957 – B.O.A.C. – First Britannia Regular Service (London to Johannesburg)

British Overseas Airways Corporation

1957 – First Britannia Regular Service (London to Johannesburg)

From Salisbury to Johannesburg

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