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A MONG the benefits the world will enjoy as a result of progress made primarily in the cause of war will be safer, faster and more comfortable air travel. In the years just prior to the outbreak of hostilities British and American companies were.vying with each other in developing commercial routes. The public was coming round to the frame of mind where it took for granted the use of the air lanes when speed was important, and the splendid safety records established were playing their part in making ordinary people air-minded. The needs of war caused an acceleration in aircraft design that would not have been possible under normal conditions, and hand in han,d with construction of the machines themselves went progress in direction-finding, navigational aids and other devices such as the much-discussed "operation Fido," the British invention that disperses fog over landing grounds. An early civilian application of all this progresses forecast by Mr. Harold Gatty, special representative of Pan-American Airways, who has returned to the Dominion with the hope of arranging the resumption of the service carried on by his company between the United States and New Zealand before the war. The fact that Mr. Gatty speaks confidently of the service getting under way before the end of the year would seem to indicate that a number of international difficulties have been resolved, or are about to be. The forthcoming service, according to Mr. Gatty, would allow for four return flights between San Francisco and Suva weekly, with one" branching off to Auckland, and the other three continuing to Sydney. The importance of Suva in the future of Pacific communications has been realised ever since passenger air transport came into the realm of practical planning. The interests of British air lines in the Pacific have.been properly safeguarded, and it is certain that if Pan-American have been given landing rights then reciprocal terms must have been provided for British operators. .-Mr. Gatty's company intends employing land planes, and this is in line with modern experience. The likelihood of fares being about the same as for first class steamship travel is also what has been predicted by those in touch with development of civilian aviation, and it is certain that British air lines, when they are ready to operate, will give similar facilities. While, in the absence of official announcements, not placing too much Importance on the immediate prospects, there does seem ground for anticipating efiicient civilian overseas air transport facilities in the not too distant future.

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Bibliographic details

AIR TRAVEL PROSPECTS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 179, 31 July 1945

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AIR TRAVEL PROSPECTS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 179, 31 July 1945