Surrey Flying Services

Surrey F S DC-3 G-AMSR

Based at Southend from May 1952 to Dec 1952

Founders/Directors – Mr F.W.J. Grant and W.G. McDonald (later Mr F. Laker)

Surrey Air Services was one of Britain’s oldest airlines having been established as early as 1921, although during the early stages, it concerned itself more with pleasure and charter flights. It wasn’t until three decades later that this airline would make a home for itself at Southend after having previously been purchased by Air Charter in January 1951. Several months later, Air Charter would be acquired by Freddie Laker and with it came Surrey Flying Services’ aircraft along with its assets. Its larger aircraft in the shape of Yorks and Tudors would be transferred to the ATEL base at Stansted, being as they could be operated more effectively from STN’s much longer runway, while the smaller aircraft would be sent to Southend. That said, the company Yorks would sometimes appear at Southend for maintenance with G-AMGL being noted as a particularly frequent visitor to the airport.

In fact, while G-AMGL and G-AMGM primarily flew on Air Charter services, they remained registered to SFS until the end of their services lives. Meanwhile, their sole C-47 and Dragon Rapide would continue to fly until the end of the year under the Surrey name although the C-47 would from an early stage find herself being provided with an Air Charter Ltd livery. Most of the C-47’s work would involve the freighting of cargo and passengers between Berlin and Hamburg although the aircraft would sometimes fly the odd charter from Southend and also return there from time to time for overhauls and maintenance. The Rapide on the the other hand would for a while serve as Freddie Laker’s own personal aircraft which he occasionally used on business. However by the end of 1952, the Surrey name had disappeared having been completely absorbed into Air Charter.


Surrey Flying Services fleet while based at SEN

Douglas C-47 Dakota

G-AMSR – 5/52 to 12/52

Transferred to Air Charter Ltd

D.H.89 Dragon Rapide

G-ASJL – 4/52 to 3/56

Sold to Southern Flying Schools Ltd

Avro York

G-AMGL – 7/51 to 3/52

Crashed near Hamburg, Germany 11/3/52

G-AMGM – 4/51 to 11/52

DBR landing at RAF Lyneham 27/11/52

G-AMRI – 3/52 to 8/52

TFR to Air Charter

G-AMRJ – 3/52 to 5/52

TFR to Air Charter


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