First Flight covers are created for the first time a new flight route is used, or a different company begins flying the route. The covers are collected when they leave the city where the flight begins and often when it returns. A flight from Dhaka to Calcutta, India would have two differnt cachets. At least the wording would be different. The first would state it is from Dhaka to Calcutta, and the second cachet would be for the return flight and state from Calcutta to Dhaka. Covers are not made for subsequent flights of the same route. That is why they are referred to as “First flight” covers. Most of the covers are sent under separate envelopes with the stamps of the country where the flight originates, with a request that the enclosed envelopes be posted on the date of the first flight and that it receives the appropriate cancellation/marking. Below you will see covers that were mailed in the collector’s country, bearing those stamps, and the cover receiving various markings along the way to the city where the flight was originating. The cover then had the appropriate cancellation/marking added to the envelope. Most covers have a cancellation on the back of the city where the flight, or a portion of the flight ended. If a flight makes several stops from the point of origin to where it ends, collectors may want covers from each of the cities. Generally the cachet/marking are different.
26 December – Calcutta, India to Dacca
What appears to be genuine autographs of the pilot and copilot are stamped signatures. Most people think they are genuine because they are so thin. The covers are almost always advertized as being autographed, but they are stamped signatures.
26 December – Dacca to Calcutta
This is an example of bot the stamped signature and genuine autographs on the same cover. Genuine autographs are not that common.
15 January – Calcutta, India to Dacca
15 January – Dacca to Calcutta, India
12 April – Dacca to London, England
2 January – Geneva, Switzerland to Dacca
This is an example of a First Flight (Berlin, Germany to Hanoi, North Vietnam) with stops at Moscow, Russia, Taschkent, Uzbekistan, and Dacca, Bangladesh. Because the cover is addressed to a location in Bangladesh, it has the backstamp of the day it was received in Dacca (November 6th).
4 November – Berlin, Germany (Moscow, Taschkent), Dacca, Bangladesh (Hanoi)
8 November – The return flight, but for the portion from Dacca to Berlin.
18 June – Dacca to London
23 November – Dacca to Bangkock
23 November – Bangkok, Indonesia to Dacca
December 1 – Dacca to Dubai, U.A.E.
December 4 – Dubai to Dacca
10 December – Calcutta, India to Dacca
1 November – Bangkok, Thailand to Dacca
3 November – Delhi, India to Dacca
Tha marking at the top is on the back of the cover. Various markings were created for each part of the flight, and used in those cities when it landed, or left. If a flight had numerous stops along the way, a cover sent from the aeroport of origin to the final destination, would generally only receive the marking at the airport of origin. If others were posted at the various stops, they would receive those markings.
24 February – Dacca – Paris. France by the Concorde
1 November – Dhaka to Tokyo, Japan
2 November – Tokyo, Japan to Dhaka
17 December – Dhaka to New York, New York
18 December – New York, New York to Dhaka
The above covers are all for the first flight from Amsterdam to Dhaka. The bottom three cards(They are not envelopes) are generic and many different cachets can be found on them. They could be used by collectors for most first flights, due to their generic nature. The stamps and markings found on the cards and envelopes are from many different countries as they were mailed directly and not sent in an separate envelope. Collectors sent them to the site to be carried on the first flight and the black cancellation was added to the cards and envelopes. What is important is the square black cancellation that is applied to each cover. that is proof that it was carried on the flight. The above covers are from the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark and Liechtenstein.
31 October – Dhaka to Dubai, U.A.E.. This cover was not flown on the flight but was made to get the Commemorative Cancellation only and it is illustrated under the Commemorative Cancellation heading in this catalog.