Qantas Round-the-World Service - 1958
QEA determined to operate two 'around-the-world' services, westbound and eastbound, with Melbourne as the nominal terminus. Accordingly, on 20 December 1957 QEA Super Constellation VH-EAO Southern Aurora departed on a proving and goodwill flight.
Scheduled services commenced on 14 January 1958 with the near-simultaneous departure of Super Constellations VH-EAO and VH-EAP Southern Zephyr from Melbourne's Essendon Airport. VH-EAO departed Australia via Sydney, where it picked up a philatelic mail of some 37,847 items, and then via the 'Southern Cross' route across the Pacific to the USA. The two aircraft passed each other en route and VH-EAO returned to Australia via London and the 'Kangaroo Route' through the Middle East and Asia. Stops were made in: Nadi (Fiji); Honolulu; San Francisco; New York; London; Rome; Athens; Bahrein; Karachi; New Delhi; Bangkok; Singapore; Jakarta; and Perth.
Illustrated here are two varieties of air mail cover flown aboard VH-EAO on this flight. The cover above was issued by QEA whereas the one below was issued by Wesley Cover Service. Both covers carry the required 4 Shillings postage, using two of the special 'Super Constellation' stamps issued by the Post Office to commemorate the event. Both covers also carry a purple flight cachet. The covers were postmarked in Sydney on 14 January and backstamped (not illustrated) on arrival home on 20 January.
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