Air Travel in Rhodesia

The first aeroplane to land Rhodesia, which arrived in Bulawayo on 5th March 1920, was a converted Vickers Vimy bomber flown by Lt.-Col. Pierre van Ryneveld and Flt.-Lt. C.J. Quintin Brand. This was a part of the first flight from London to Cape Town and involved the use of three aircraft. Both pilots were knighted for their pioneering efforts.

On 11th June, also in 1920, an Avro 504K trainer landed at the old Belvedere race course in Salisbury.

In 1932 Imperial Airways provided the first regular service calling in at Salisbury and Bulawayo on the London to Cape Town route.

Rhodesia and Nyasaland Airways initiated a local and regional service in 1934.

During World War II, Rhodesia, along with the other four self governing Dominions played a key role in training allied aircrew.

After the war, in 1946, Central African Airways (CAA) was formed to provide a joint service covering Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Following the independence of these territories, each sought to provide its own service and Air Rhodesia took over as the national airline in 1967.


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