Last updated February 9 2024

1928 overnight mail service

During the summer of 1928 AB Aerotransport (Swedish Air Lines), together with Postmaster General (Generalpoststyrelsen) and the Swedish Air Traffic Association (Svenska Luftfartsförbundet), conducted five trial overnight flights Stockholm-Malmö-Lübeck-Hamburg-Amsterdam-London.

The first flight on June 18 was piloted by Liljegren from AB Aerotransport. The plane was also manned with the "first flying postmaster" Mr. Olav Olsen, who had to postmark, sort and bundle the airmail during the flight.

The five trips were maid:

Trip #1
June 18: Stockholm-London (arrived the in the morning of June 19).
June 20: London-Stockholm (arrived in the morning of June 21.

Trip #2
August 14: Stockholm-London (arrived the in the morning of August 15).
August 16: London-Stockholm (arrived in the morning of August 17).

Trip #3
August 22: Stockholm-London (arrived the in the morning of August 23).
August 24: London-Stockholm (arrived in the morning of August 25).

Trip #4
August 29: Stockholm-London (arrived the in the morning of August 30).
August 31: London-Stockholm (arrived in the morning of September 1).

Trip #5
September 5: Stockholm-London (arrived the in the morning of September 6).
September 6: London-Stockholm (arrived in the morning of September 7).

According the AB Aerotransport's book "20 years of air traffic 1924-1944/In Swedish: På säkra vingar) one of the five flight was disrupted in Malmö due to problems with the plane. For the moment I don't know which flight.



If you want to use a postcard or other image in any way, I do want that you contact me.
If you for some reason "forget" to do so I expect that you on social medias, own web sites or in any kind of publication, clearly states where you found the picture, for example
Thank You!

Vill du använda ett vykort eller bild på något sätt så vill jag att du kontaktar mig.
Om du av någon anledning "glömmer" detta så förväntar jag mig att du på sociala medier, egna websidor eller i publikationer av olika slag, tydligt anger varifrån du tagit bilden, exempelvis


Hold the mouse over the picture to get details of the postcard.
Click on the pictures and you will see larger scans. You can then choose to remain in the large scan mode and click through all images or use the slide show option.

Air mail
Air mail from the first flight June 18 1928
Letter - address side
Cancelled: June 18 1928
Air mail from the fifth flight September 5 1928 ...
Letter - address side
Cancelled at Basel Flugplatz September 4 1928
Letter - backside
Arrivel cancellation in Malmö September 7 1928

The letter above is very interesting.
It was sent by air mail from Basel (Switzerland) to a recipient i Malmö (Sweden).
When I look at available airline time tables from the time it appears to me that the logical route would have been Basel-Mannheim-Frankfurt. Then Frankfurt-Hannover-Hamburg-Copenhagen-Malmö. Airline would have been Deutsche Luft-Hansa all the way.

BUT, on the envelope there are cancellations implying that the letter has passed through Stockholm (Sweden) using the trial flight conducted between Stockholm-London. It shold have reached Malmö on its way to London as Malmö is indicated as an intermediate airport ... But it also have a cancellation implying it was never unloaded in Malmö, but instead reached London and through the overnight service ended up in Malmö on the return flight from London.
However, to reach Stockholm from Basel I can't see any other option than using Deutsche Luft-Hansa's seaplane from Stettin via Kalmar to Stockholm. If so, I can't how this was achivable in just one day (4th of Sep to 5th of Sep)???

I just realized another option. Basel-Paris-London with Imperial Airways (one day). The using the trial night flight London-Stockholm which as mentioned had a stop in Malmö. I.e. the letter never passed Stockholm. Obviously I have answer why the cancellation LUFTPOSTEXP. N:r 1 is on the envelope (an answer I cannot give today). Well well ...

In addition the postal office never could identify the reciever in Malmö, so the letter was apparently sent back to Switzerland.


The cancellations seen on the address side of the envelope are:
1) Cancellation in Basel Flugplatz on Sep 4 1928
2) Cancellation LUFTPOSTEXP. N:r 1 on Sep 5 1928 (stating "Femte turen" which means 5th flight, of the Stockholm-London trials).
4) Adresse insuffisante Adressen ofullständig. Not dated (since it's also a Swedish statement I belive it's stamped in Malmö).
5) Retour á l'expéditeur.

The cancellations seen on the backside of the envelope are:
1) Arrival cancellation in Malmö on Sep 7 1928.
2) UTAN NÄRMARE ADRESS OBESTÄLLBART (which means: Address insufficient for delivery).

This letter was kindly given to me by Peter Bamert in Switzerland.

The Air Plane

The airplane used was a Junkers F-13 with registration S-AAAC.
The plane was rebuilt to house a small "flying postoffice". I think this postoffice (or a model of it) can be viewed at the Postal Museum in Stockholm.

The plane can today be seen at the Technical Museum of Stockholm.

C/N 715
AB Aerotransport
Junkers F.13
Postcard published by:
Postens Tryckeri, Sweden
"The Flying Postoffice"
hanging under the roof of
the Technical Museum of Stockholm
Photo: Leif Gustafsson
Early air mail in general

One of the big driving fources for the development of the early aviation was the transport of mail. Passenger services on the early flight could be made affordable as the income from the air mail covered most of the expences.

The early "experiment" with night flights between Stockholm-London 1928 was followed in 1929 (May 30 and June 28) with 22 trials flights on the routes Stockholm-Malmö-Copenhagen-Hamburg-Amsterdam and Oslo-Gothenburg-Malmö-Copenhagen-Berlin. Participating companies were ABA (AB Aerotransport), DDL (Det Danske Luftfartselskab), Deutsche Lufthansa, KLM and the Norwegian company Halle & Petersen.

In U.S.A. competion for getting early contracts with US Post Office led to the development of aviation companies. Companies that over the years through merges and buyouts led to the aviation industry we know today.

1er Service Postal Aérien France-Etats-Unis

This is for me a fascinating postcard.
The picture side itself is not specific in any way, but the address side is. It has four different cancellations, together with one ink stamp stating that this is "1er Service Postal Aérien France-Etats-Unis".

Nya Sverige Minnet 1938
(Picture side)
Nya Sverige Minnet 1938
(Address side)
May 23, 1939
May 24, 1939
N. Y. - G.P.O.
May 27, 1939
N. J.
May 29, 1939

We can, at least partly, follow the route of this postcard took just 3 months prior to the brake-out of WWII 1939.
It was sent by airmail (night flight) from Stockholm (Sweden) to Hannover (Germany). Cancelled in Stockholm May 23.
I have tried to figure which aircraft ABA was using in May 1939 for its night mail flights from Stockholm.
I have two candidates. Either SE-AEH Västergötland, a Junkers W34, or, SE-BAE Svalan, a Junkers Ju-86. Both planes were used up until 1940 when the flights were cancelled due to the ongoing war.

The postcard was then transported from Hannover (Germany) to Marseille (France). Cancelled in Marseille May 24 (i.e. the day after).
The exact route between Hannover and Marseille can not be determined.

It left Marseille (almost certainly on a flying boat) and arrived in New York on May 27 (cancelled 5.30 PM).
Two days later in was cancelled in Rahway NJ 6.30 AM.
The exact way of transportation between New York and Rahway can not be determined.
Since Rahway is just around 5 kilometres west of Staten Island I guess it was a land transport ...


The postcard was most likely sent on Pan Am's FAM-18 southern route:
Marseille (France)-Lisbon (Portugal)-Horta (Azores)-New York (USA)
[FAM=Foreign Air Mail route]

I eastbound route was inaugurated on May 20, 1939.
The return (westward) flight left Marseille on May 25. It left Lisbon on May 26, made a stop at Horta, leaving Horta the same day.
Finally arriving at New York on May 27.

The Boeing 314 used (named Yankee Clipper) was piloted by Arthur E LePorte.


Follow this link to see my collection of Pan American Clipper Ships.