Air Atlantique/Atlantic Airlines

DC-3 Air Atlantique

Operated from Mar 1977 to Jul 2004

Main Base – Coventry

Founder/Director – Mike Collett

Air Atlantique had a rather long albeit irregular relationship with SEN, although ultimately, such a relationship would see most of its classic aircraft coming and going from the airport over the years. The history of this airline began on Jersey in September 1969, starting out as General Aviation Services which undertook ad-hoc charters and air taxi services from the island. By the middle of the ’70s, GAS was running a good number of regular trips to France and as a result of this, the name Air Atlantique was taken on to better reflect its operations, this eventually becoming the official trading name of the airline in 1977. Such changes would also see larger aircraft being added to the fleet in the form of Dakotas and these would inevitably go on to carry out a wide range of freight charters. Then in 1984, Atlantic Air Transport emerged after this company took over Instone’s former base at Stansted and later became Atlantic Airlines/Cargo.

However, it was back in 1982 that Air Atlantique began operating three ex-Eastern Airways Dakotas from Southend. These had previously been employed hauling car parts on behalf of the Ford Motor Company. While Air Atlantique had been working on behalf of Ford since 1977, it is unclear whether these particular aircraft were used as a extension of this contract or for some other purpose. Otherwise, during the ’80s and ’90s, its C-47s, DC-6s and even a Metroliner could often be seen at the airport flying the aforementioned Ford charters, while some have also used SEN’s refinishing facilities too. In 1994, DC-6 G-SIXC was painted in Air France colours for use in a film and returned later in the year for refinishing back into the livery of sister airline Atlantic Airways, while in the same year, DC-3 G-DAKK was given a fictitious ‘South Coast Airlines’ livery, again for filming purposes, although this aircraft would operate a number of joy flights from the airport too.

Then in the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, Southend would see yet another type making infrequent visits in the shape of Lockheed Electras. AG-LOFC Electra number of these aircraft adorned in Atlantic Airlines/Cargo and later, Atlantic Airways livery would carry out the occasional cargo flight from SEN, although the DC-6 G-SIXC would also perform the odd freight run too. However, in July 2004, the airline would split into two entities, the first remaining as Atlantic Airlines which was bought out by the board, while the second became Classic Flight under the ownership of Mike Collett. Further changes would see RVL Aviation assuming command of Atlantic from 2007 onwards, while in 2009, the airline then merged with a Swedish concern to become West Atlantic, although operations continued under the Atlantic name. Finally, in 2013, the Electras began to be sold off and by April 2013, operations had ceased completely.

Air Atlantique C-47 and DC-6 operating out of SEN during 1995

Click here to view Robin J. Pinnock’s video

 

Air Atlantique/Atlantic Airlines/Cargo fleet from 1982 to 2004

(Only those aircraft that were likely to have been seen at SEN are listed)

Douglas C-47 Dakota

G-AMCA – 7/77 to 12/00

PWFU 10/03 – CoA exp 12/00

G-AMHJ – 9/87 to 12/00

PWFU 1/03 – CoA exp 12/00

G-AMPO – 6/88 to 3/97

PWFU 10/01 – CoA exp 12/00

G-AMPY – 2/82 to Current

Flies with Classic Flight

G-AMPZ – 9/90 to 10/01

Sold in Germany

G-AMRA – 10/81 to 10/15

Aircraft now in Germany

G-AMSV – 3/82 to 6/05

Sold to the Mustang Restoration Company

G-AMYJ – 12/81 to 1/82

Sold to Aces High Ltd

G-ANAF – 10/77 to Current

Flies with Classic Flight

G-APML – 7/81 to 3/02

PWFU 3/01 – CoA exp 7/84

G-BPMP – 12/92 to 4/95

PWFU 4/95

G-DAKK – 7/94 to 12/64

Sold to Lindholme Aircraft Ltd

Douglas DC-6

G-APSA – 2/87 to 9/12

Sold to Instone Air Services

G-SIXC – 3/87 to 8/11

PWFU 8/11 – CoA exp 4/05

Swearingen Metroliner

G-BUKA – 4/92 to 7/04

Sold to Bearskin Airlines as C-GYRL

Lockheed L-188 Electra

G-FIJR – 11/97 to 6/04

Sold in Conair as C-GYCG

G-FIZU – 8/98 to 12/14

Sold in Canada

G-LOFA – 2/94 to 7/98

PWFU 5/98 – B/U Coventry 5/98

G-LOFB – 6/94 to 5/13

WFU 5/13 – Derelict at Coventry

G-LOFC – 6/95 to 5/13

Sold in Buffalo Airways as C-GXFC

G-LOFD – 6/97 to 2/10

Sold in Conair as C-FYYJ

G-LOFE – 1/99 to 4/13

Sold in Buffalo Airways as C-GZFE

 

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.