Union Airways travel poster, circa mid 1930s
Union Airways, a subsidiary of the Union Steamship Company, commenced operation on the Main Trunk Route - which left Auckland out off the main trunk! Non-Aucklanders will be appreciative of this, no doubt. Just desserts and all that. Apparently, it was considered that the express rail service on the North Island Main Trunk line meant that air transport could not compete effectively with rail. How wrong they were in the long run.
Union Steamship, the Southern Octopus as it has been called, extended its tentacles out to regional routes as well but within a relatively few years it was clear that a shipping line had no comparative advantage in operating an air service.
De Havilland airliner Karoro (gull) being loaded at Palmerston North airport, circa 4 November 1936.
De Havilland DH86 Express biplane, Kotuku, circa 1939, possibly at Rongotai, Wellington (according to Turnbull library, but I'm not convinced!)
Interior of an aircraft possibly a De Havilland Express in the 1930s.