Willow Air

Bandit G-BHJZ

Based at Southend from Apr 1992 to Jun 1996

Founders/Directors – Mr N.J. Freeman and Mr S.W. Case

Willow Air was almost unique in the modern history of Southend Airport, being one of only two companies to run both a flying club and an airline. The airline itself Bandit G-DORKwas a moderately small affair which started out with in April 1992 with a single D.H.C.6 Twin Otter, although it wouldn’t take long before the airline was operating mostly Embraer Bandeirante equipment on courier and light freight flights which would take place mostly at night. However, it was not unknown for these aircraft to carry passengers during the day too. Eventually though, Willow Air would go on to establish a regular schedule with cargo flights to Amsterdam, Brussels and Dublin from Southend and Luton that operated almost every night.

In 1995, Bandeirantes G-BHJZ and G-DORK were leased to Overseas Courier Services, their registrations being changed to G-OCSI and G-OCSZTrilander G-OJAV respectively to reflect this. Then, early in 1996, the company was merged with Streamline Aviation, although it would continue to operate services under its own name until at least June of that year. In the meantime, this merger would result in a new airline known as Air Tabernacle which took over a number of Willow Air’s former aircraft. The flying club meanwhile, continued to operate on as a separate entity. More details about Willow Air Flying Club can be found in the ‘Other SEN Organisations’ menu.


Willow Air fleet while based at SEN

D.H.C.6 Twin Otter

G-DOSH – 4/92 to 10/92

Leased from Scenic Airways

Embraer Bandeirante

G-BHJZ – 9/92 to 1/96

Bought 12/94 and rr to G-OCSI as leased to OCS – TFR to Air Tabernacle

G-BNIX – 9/92 to 12/95

Leased from Air Tabernacle

G-DORK – 7/93 to 12/95

Bought 2/95 and rr as G-OCSZ as leased to OCS – TFR to Air Tabernacle

G-OPPP – 9/94 to 6/96

Re-reg to G-OHIG 3/95 – TFR to Air Tabernacle

G-ZUSS – 4/92 to 8/92

Sub leased from Tech Air Ltd – To Flightline

Britten Norman Trilander

G-OREG – 11/92 to 2/94

Sold to M.G. Roberts

G-OJAV – 4/92 to 2/97

TFR to Air Tabernacle


G-SLUG – 10/89 to 6/91

Sold to Tech-Air Ltd


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.