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Austria: Day of the Stamp 2006

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The development of Austrian airmail from 1945

The end of the Second World War also saw the end of civilian airmail to and from Austria. None of the airports around Vienna remained capable of operations, and yet the occupying forces very quickly attempted to permit provisional air traffic. The Americans chose the airfield at Langenlebarn near Tulln as their base, the Soviets used Aspern and a number of smaller airfields in the south and east of Vienna while the British and French shared the site at Schwechat. The first airmail after World War Two to and from Austria was the military post for the members of the Allied occupying troops. Limited postal traffic abroad was not permitted to civilians until January 2 1946, and even then was restricted to land mail in the direction from Austria.

It was only on March 25 1946 that airmail could be sent abroad, although Germany and Japan were still excluded from postal traffic. Naturally every letter had to pass through the censor's hand. The first airmail letters were sent either via London using aircraft of the Royal Air Force or by train via Paris. The start of direct regular flight traffic by the American Airline PAN AM from New York to Vienna was a major media event (including in Austria). This led to the commencement of regular services to and from Austria by other foreign airlines, documented by corresponding first-flight covers. It was not until 1957 that an independent Austrian airline was founded. 1958 then saw the first flight from Vienna to London using an aircraft leased from Norway. In 1969 AUA commenced trans-Atlantic operations on the Vienna

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