Tropic Airways


Operated from Feb 1951 to 1956

Country of Origin – South Africa

Founders/Directors – Harry Creed, Tom Meredith and W.E ‘Jock’ Hamilton

Tropic Airways initially started out with a single C-47, flying passenger and some freight charters from Johannesburg to ‘London’ and on occasion to other countries within Africa although it is unknown whether the former included flights to Southend at this time. However, by the end of the first year, operations had been going well and as a consequence of this, a second aircraft was added to the fleet in the form of an Avro York. However, despite the company’s ongoing success, 1952 would see a number of changes with Tom Meredith and Jock Hamilton leaving the airline for Southend where they would start Meredith Air Transport, later returning primarily to South African operations with Trek Airways which operated frequently to and from SEN.

Another unfortunate occurrence took place on July 27th when Tropic’s sole Dakota was forced to ditch into the Mediterranean although thankfully, this accident involved no loss of life. Just prior to this, an ex-RAF Dakota had been procured although the air force stipulated that it could only be sold to a British company and while it was initially placed into Tropic ownership through Jock Hamilton, it was eventually registered to Meredith Air Transport. Meanwhile, the York would continue to fly back and forth across Africa, frequenting SEN on a number of occasions for engineering purposes during the mid-50s. It is rumoured that this airline may even have operated in association with Trek Airlines on some of its earlier flights. However, by 1956 it was all over and the York was sold on to Lebanese airline TMA.

With thanks to Chris Garton for suggesting edits and corrections to this page.


Tropic Airways fleet from 1951 to 1956

Douglas C-47

ZK-DFB – 2/51 to 7/52

Ditched into the Mediterranean 27/7/52

G-AMSU – 5/52 to 9/52

Registered to W.E Hamilton – TFR to Meredith A/T

Avro York

ZK-DGN – 1/52 to ?/56

Sold to TMA as OD-ACN


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

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.