New Zealand to Persia, 1932

From June 1932, air mail was accepted from New Zealand for Persia, Iraq, Palestine and Egypt as well as for Africa. Mail was carried to Karachi by surface with the first flight leaving Karachi on 27 July. No special cachet was applied.


The route from Karachi was along the Persian side of the Persian Gulf calling at Jask, Lingeh and Bushire. However, from the flight leaving Karachi on October 5, the route was changed to the Arabian side of the Gulf. Hence, there were only 10 flights which could carry acceptances from New Zealand and call at the Persian airports.

In the first flight, all the mail from New Zealand to Persia was addressed to Tehran and was flown to Baghdad with none being reported as being offloaded at one of the three Persian airports.

Too Late


This cover is postmarked in Auckland on 28 September 1932 and is addressed to Bushire. It has the routing instruction Per Karachi - Egypt Service.

By the time it arrived in Karachi, the route had been changed and there was no longer an airmail service from there to Bushire. (Mail for Tehran would still be accepted as it would be flown to Baghdad.)

The airmail etiquette has been cancelled with the slogan Karachi / Cancelled / 31 Oct.32 on three lines. There is also a cachet in red stating No air service available / Despatched by sea route.


There is a receiving backstamp in Bushire dated 3 November.

The cover appears to be a genuine commercial use rather than philatelic. It seems reasonable to believe that, when it was sent from New Zealand, the imminent change of route was unknown to the sender.

It is franked with 9½d. Possibly made up of: 3d per ½oz air mail fee of, 2½d surface rate to a foreign country, 4d registration fee although the registration fee had been reduced to 3d on 1 June 1932.

As there was no mail addressed to Bushire on the first acceptance, it is reasonable to assume that the number of items sent there on one of the ten possible flights was very small, if not zero. This could therefore be the only cover from New Zealand which was intended to be flown to Bushire.

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All scans were made by the author. Information on this page is taken from:
[1] Airmails of New Zealand, volume 2 (1986) compiled by Douglas A Walker published by the Air Mail Society of New Zealand.
[2] Aircraft Movements on Imperial Airways' Eastern Route, Vol 1, 1927 - 1937, Peter Wingent, Winchester 1999.