Following their first successful year of operation using ex RAAF disposals Avro Anson aircraft, the company’s Directors announced they were pursuing the purchase of DC-3s to replace Ansons, stating that there was no future for the company unless they moved from a visual flight to an instrument flight operation.
DC-3s proved to be too expensive at this stage of EWA's operations, while there were also problems with landing fields. Instead, the EWA Board decided to purchase second hand Hudsons for refit, although Board members were seriously concerned about the cost.
The Hudson made its first commercial flight for East-West on December 22, 1949 when it departed on the 7.00am service to Sydney, cropping 30 minutes off the previous Anson scheduled time. The Northern Daily Leader reported:
This is possibly the best Hudson aircraft in Australia and will provide passengers with the ultimate in comforts as a toilet is installed and a Hostess will attend the needs of passengers.