Kestrel International

Kestrel Int

Operated from Oct 1970 to Nov 1972

Main Base – Lydd and then Castle Donington

Founders/Directors – Mr P Anderson and Mr G Corson

Operations by this small airline started at Lydd with a sole Dakota – G-AMFV. However, things did not get off to a good start and by February of the following year, Kestrel Airways as it was then known had moved the centre of its operations to Castle Donington. While this C-47 would fly various passenger and freight charters, it would be the movement of car parts for the Ford Motor Company, that would primarily keep this small airline busy. While Kestrel would attempt to enter the lucrative I.T sector at the end of 1971, their attempts were thwarted by the route approvals board and thus they were forced to continue to rely on the Ford charters to keep the company afloat.

In 1972, the airline re-branded itself as Kestrel International and bought another aircraft in the form of a larger and more capable Vickers Viscount. This aircraft was initially put to work flying established I.T charter flights for British tour companies, although she would also undertake a good number of cargo duties too and it was this work that would eventually bring Kestrel to Southend. A dock strike during the summer of 1972 would see this Viscount being stationed at SEN from where she would regularly fly to Belfast between June and August after which she returned to operating scheduled services for Dan-Air. However, by October the work had more or less dried up and by November 1st, Kestrel was no more.

 

Kestrel International fleet during 1972

Douglas C-47 Dakota

G-AMFV – 10/70 to 8/72

Leased from C-47 Aviation Ltd

Vickers Viscount

G-AVJB – 3/72 to 11/72

Leased from British Midland

 

Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this airline’s SEN history or indeed, any pictures or paraphernalia that you would like to share? If so, then please contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.