Independent Air Travel

Ind Air Travel

Operated from circa Feb 1954 to Mar 1959*

Main Base – Hurn

Founder/Director – Capt Marian Kozubski

Independent’s roots can actually be traced back to 1953 when on the first day of this year, it started life as a travel company. However just over a year later, Capt Kozubski and several other interested parties would purchase this business and as such, would transform it into an airline. Beginning with a single Anson, this aircraft was soon sold off and replaced with two De Havilland Doves which made frequent flights across the Channel to France mostly carrying live birds. In 1956, Independent would then go on to expand its fleet further with larger equipment in the shape of Vickers Vikings. The following year would see the fleet being more than doubled to nine aircraft, although some of these Vikings were immediately sold on to Eagle Airways. By the summer of 1957, the first of three, four engined C-54 airliners had joined the company too.

It was in 1957 that Independent began to appear at Southend, flying a small number of ad-hoc charters from the airport with its Vikings to continental climes. Although low level passenger charters would continue into 1958, freight flights would increase exponentially during the summer of this year when Independent’s DC-4 airliners operated a good number of meat flights to the Continent from Southend. Another, slightly more tenuous link to Southend would see Swiss Universal Air Charter using Vickers Viking (G-AHOU) on the Basle – Southend service for the 1958 season, a route that was operated for them by Independent. Both the route and the aircraft was later passed on to Overseas until their collapse, when it was transferred to Tradair however, the service was not taken up and the aircraft remained idle at SEN. This Viking would later be broken up at the airport in June 1963.

On September 2nd 1958, Independent would become embroiled in the high profile ‘Southall Crash’ which involved one of its Vikings crashing into a house in the area. During the investigation, several serious safety issues arose and the whole affair eventually became a national scandal when it was revealed that the aircraft had been overweight, the crew had not been rested properly and the aircraft had not been maintained by qualified engineers. To distance itself from this debacle, Independent would later find itself being reorganised* and from March 1959 onwards, it would continue to operate charter flights under the guise of ‘Blue-Air’, although operations would only last until October 1959 when this airline finally collapsed. This later incarnation would have no relationship whatsoever with SEN.

 

Independent Air Travel/Transport fleet from 1957 to 1959

Vickers Viking

G-AHOU*– 5/57 to 2/58

Operated on behalf of Swiss Universal

G-AIJE – 9/57 to 9/58

Crashed at Southall 2/9/58

G-AHPE – 5/58 to 6/58

Sold to Continental Air Transport

G-AHPG*– 4/57 to 3/59

Sold to Falcon Airways

G-AHPR – 5/59 to 12/59

Sold to Bembridge Air Hire

G-AJBU – 12/56 to 12/59

Sold to Bembridge Air Hire

G-AJCE*– 3/56 to 12/59

Sold to Bembridge Air Hire (for Continental)

G-AMNR*– 1/56 to 12/59

Sold to Bembridge Air Hire (for Continental)

Douglas C-54 Skymaster

G-APCW*– 7/57 to 9/59

TFR to Blue Air

G-APID*– 11/57 to 9/59

TFR to Blue Air

G-APNH*– 6/58 to 9/59

TFR to Blue Air

 

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.