'The air age comes to Madeira' said the press when, in 1949, the Aquila Airways flying boat 'Hampshire' arrived at Funchal with passengers from the UK. Here in words and pictures is the story of the ten years during which the company flew tens of thousands of passengers from Southampton to the warmer climes of Madereia, offering air travellers a degree of comfort that compared favourably with the land aircraft then in operation with other airlines.The era came to an end when Aquila's 'Southampton' made the company's final flight, to Lisbon, on 5 December 1958, but by then the flying boats had earned themselves a rightful place in the marine aviation heritage of Southampton and Madereia.