Swiss Universal

Universal

Based at Southend from Feb 1958 to c.May 1960

Director/Founder – Unknown

Swiss Universal Air Charter initially started out as a minor subsidiary of Independent Air Travel using a single Viking on flights between Blackbushe and Basle, although the aircraft itself was always operated by Swiss Universal crews. However early in 1958, both the aircraft and the contract moved to Overseas Aviation which was at the time operating from Southend. During the summer months of 1958 and 1959, this aircraft was kept busy flying passengers between Southend and Basle while during the winter, she would be put to work operating charters for Overseas itself. Then in 1960, Overseas made the move to Gatwick taking both the plane and the route with it, although by the middle of 1961 the contract had changed hands once again and had now became the responsibility of Air Safaris who took it over after the collapse of Overseas.

However, the story as far as Southend was concerned would not end here. With many independents toppling like skittles during the early ’60s, it wasn’t long before Air Safaris went the same way and as a result of this, this Swiss Universal Viking finally found her way back to Southend, positioning there on September 4th 1961. It was envisioned that Tradair would be the next independent to fly this Basle service although this plane was ultimately destined never to leave the ground again. She remained in open storage at SEN until June 1963 when she was finally broken up for scrap, this taking place not long after the demise of Tradair.

 

Swiss Universal fleet while based at SEN

Vickers 657 Viking

G-AHOU – 7/57 to 6/63

Scrapped at Southend 6/63

 

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