North Eastern Airways
North Eastern Airways application, in October 1937, to the Post Office for a contract to carry mail was refused due to their short operational experience and the poor reliability of their service. However, the Post Master General's review in February 1938 found reliability to have improved and in September 1938 agreed to grant the airline a contract to carry mail from Perth to Croydon via Newcastle, Leeds, Bradford and Doncaster. On the 3rd of October 1938 the first flight to carry mail left Perth for Newcastle. From Newcastle mail was carried on another aircraft to Croydon via Yeadon and Doncaster. Vignettes were produced for use on mail carried on the inaugural flight, although there use was entirely optional. A. Phillips, an air mail dealer, bought the initial printing of 500 copies of each of the vignettes, consequently there was a second printing of 1500 copies of each. Due to the post office regulations mail could only be flown to certain specified towns or postal districts, which differed according to each town of despatch. Consequently, covers between Bradford and addressed to the Company's office at Croydon, and Bradford and Doncaster were not actually flown on the inaugural flight, being transported by surface mail, although some were subsequently signed by the pilot . The air mail service ended at the start of the war.
3rd October 1938. First Air Mail.






Printed by Modern Press, Croydon. Imperforate. Number Printed: First printing 500; Second printing 1500.

No Value
Light blue and dark blue. PERTH-LONDON.

 
1st printing: First 'O' of 'OCTOBER' under 'E' of 'PERTH'; 2nd printing: First 'O' of 'OCTOBER' under 'ER' of 'PERTH'.

No Value
Light blue and dark blue. NEWCASTLE-LONDON.

 
1st printing: First 'O' of 'OCTOBER' under 'WC' of 'NEWCASTLE'; 2nd printing: First 'O' of 'OCTOBER' under 'C' of 'NEWCASTLE'

No Value
Light blue and dark blue. LEEDS-LONDON.

 
1st printing: First 'O' of 'OCTOBER' under first 'E' of 'LEEDS'; 2nd printing: First 'O' of 'OCTOBER' under 'EE' of 'LEEDS'

No Value
Light blue and dark blue. BRADFORD-LONDON.

 
1st printing: 'B' of 'BRADFORD' 8 mm from aircraft nose; 2nd printing: 'B' of 'BRADFORD' 9 mm from aircraft nose.

No Value
Light blue and dark blue. DONCASTER-LONDON.

 
1st printing: 'F' of 'FIRST' overlaps 'N' of 'DONCASTER'. 'D' of 'DONCASTER' nearer aircraft nose; 2nd printing: 'F' of 'FIRST' misses 'N' of 'DONCASTER'. 'D' of 'DONCASTER' farther from aircraft nose.


Bibliography
The West-End Philatelist, November, 1938
North Eastern Airways Air Mail Magazine Volume 1, pp. 188-189, A. Phillips (1939)
North Eastern Airways Martin Smith. Air Mail News December 1991, pp. 139-143