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Skyway Express (c.1948)


This travelogue was one of a series produced for Qantas in the late 1940s under the generic title of Universal Skylogues. Each film in the series uses the notion of flying into an 'exotic’ location, usually giving the audience a glimpse of the place. In Skyway Express the viewer is taken on the passenger plane from Sydney to London. Previously the journey by ship took six weeks. Now on the KLM DC-3 aircraft the journey takes mere days with just twelve stops and some overnight stays. The schedule is Sydney, Darwin, Timor, Bali, Java, Singapore, Sumatra, Rangoon, Calcutta, Jodhpur, Basra, Gaza, Amsterdam and London. The film shows views of life at the stopovers and a glimpse of luxury on board the DC-3.

Curator’s notes

Travelogues were screened in the first half of a cinema program, usually with a cartoon and newsreel. Very few Australians had travelled overseas in the 1940s and so moving images of exotic places like Bali were very popular. Travel by air was very expensive before the advent of the jetliner in 1959. The commentator is Edward Ross Webster.