Overseas Aviation

G-AGRP Overseas

Based at Southend from Mar 1958 to Jul 1960

Founder/Director – Mr R. Myhill

During the late 1950s, Overseas Aviation would emerge as one of Southend’s largest airlines trumped only by Air Charter and Tradair. Starting out as Overseas G-AIVKJersey registered company (Overseas Aviation (Channel Islands) Ltd) which was founded in 1957, the airline would commence services from Southend with Viking G-AHOU, an aircraft that was also used by Swiss Universal and flew in a Universal rather than an Overseas livery. Passenger services with this aircraft began between Southend and Basle with other charters filling in when this route was quiet. In 1958, Overseas expanded into engineering and opened a base at Southend while in Europe, it was establishing ties with tour companies in Germany, its first office opening in Frankfurt. Such a move paid dividends and as a result, the fleet which now consisted of three aircraft spent much of the summer hauling Germans to their favourite holiday destinations.

As 1959 dawned, Overseas looked to larger equipment that would enable the airline to carry more passengers and freight and by June of that year, five ex-B.O.A.C. Canadair Argonauts had joined the airline. Argonaut G-ALMDNeedless to say, the summer of 1959 would see a repeat of the ’58 season with the Vikings spending most of their time away from Southend on German charters returning only for maintenance, while two of the Argonauts were transferred to T.A.A.C. leaving the others free to carry out an assortment of charters to Africa, Asia, Europe and North America with a number of these flights starting from Southend. By August, Mr. Myhill had also formed a relationship with Dutch airline Martin’s Air Charter which went on to lease a single Viking (G-AIVK) from Overseas to fly flowers and cheese from Rotterdam to Southend until the spring of the following year. As the end of the year approached, further expansion was looked at and over the winter months of 1959/60 two more Vikings were added to the fleet.

The following year would also see four more Argonauts entering service with Overseas bringing the fleet to seven in total, while the two aircraft thatG-ALHK Overseas were out on lease would eventually be sold. However in 1960, Overseas began to look to other airports and by June of that year it had opened a brand new, 150 foot wide hangar at Gatwick where some of its operations had already been flying from since the summer of the previous year. Naturally, the opening of such a large facility meant that Overseas would at the very least, eventually move the centre of its operations away from SEN in the foreseeable future and by the end of the year, the decision had been made to relocate to Gatwick while continuing to use Southend and Manchester as hubs for their operations. Overseas continued to operate a small number of charters from Southend during 1961, although by the end of the year it was experiencing financial difficulties and finally went into administration during October 1961

overseas-postcard

 

Overseas T.A.A.C.

In mid-1959, Argonauts G-ALHP & G-AHLT had the letters T.A.A.C. painted onto their fuselages and were then put into service flying for associate company Overseas Trans-Africa Air Coach. Operations subsequently comprised of low-cost flights from either Southend or Luxembourg to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), Mozambique via a refuelling stop in Lisbon. From here, the passengers would then disembark and catch a train for Johannesburg, South Africa. These routes lasted for around a year and were popular being as single fares were on offer for around the £75 and £90 mark (according to class) while standard, direct flights from London to Johannesburg generally cost around £273 return. However, despite this airline’s apparent success, Overseas T.A.A.C.’s demise would inevitably come about at around the same time as that of its parent airline.

Many thanks to Peter Clark for helping with the information above.

 

Overseas Aviation fleet while based at SEN

Vickers 498 Viking 1A

G-AGRP – 3/58 to 6/61

WFU at Gatwick 3/62 and B/U 6/62

G-AGRW – 12/59 to 1/62

To Autair 1/63

G-AHOU – 2/58 to 1/62

Operated in ‘Swiss Universal’ colours – WFU and later scrapped at Southend 6/63

Vickers 610 Viking

G-AIVK – 4/58 – 5/61

WFU at Gatwick and later B/U during 1962

Vickers 614 Viking

G-AHPB – 6/60 to 12/61

Sold to Keegan Aviation

G-AHPJ – 12/59 to 1/62

To Autair

Canadair C-4 Argonaut

G-ALHD – 5/59 to 5/61

Sold to Flying Enterprise as OY-AFC

G-ALHG – 4/60 to 10/61

Sold to Derby Airways

G-ALHK – 3/59 to 1/61

Sold to Flying Enterprise as OY-AFB

G-ALHN – 2/60 to 10/61

Sold to Derby Airways

G-ALHP – 6/59 to 10/61

Sold to Derby Airways

G-ALHS – 2/60 to 10/61

Sold to Derby Airways

G-ALHT – 10/58 to 9/62

Leased and then sold to Flying Enterprise

G-ALHU – 1/59 to 4/60

Sold to Flying Enterprise as OY-AAI

G-ALHY – 3/60 to 10/61

Sold to Derby Airways

 

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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.