Trek Airways

Trek Lugdiens G-AHOW

Operated from Aug 1954 to Apr 1994

Country of Origin – South Africa

Founders/Directors – Tom Meredith and Jock Hamilton

Today, it is difficult to imagine that the regional airport now known as London Southend once saw aircraft arriving from and departing to destinations in Asia, Australasia and Africa. Quite naturally, these flights were not direct and they could often take a few days or sometimes even a week to complete. However, despite its apparent African roots, this particular airline can trace its origins back to Southend airline Meredith Air Transport. Prior to starting Meredith, both directors had been instrumental in the start up of South African outfit Tropic Airways. However, the third director Harry Creed was left to run this airline by himself while Meredith and Hamilton flew to the UK where they would eventually set up their own airline. 

Within a year, rising debts had forced Meredith into a corner and as a consequence, Trekthis company would go on to provide Dan-Air with its very first aircraft in lieu of debts owed to creditors and directors Davis and Newman. However, in handing their sole Dakota over, Meredith had become little more than a paper airline. It would then be more than a year before new equipment arrived with Meredith purchasing two Vickers Vikings, the first of these arriving at Southend in August 1954, although both aircraft were quickly given South African registrations before being transferred into the ownership of Trek Airways after which they were dispatched to Johannesburg where they would be based.

As a consequence of this, Meredith once again found itself without aircraft although this branch of the operation would continue to act as Trek’s agenttrek-dc-4-zs-cig in the UK. Before long, these aircraft were making regular journeys between Johannesburg and Southend with a small number of stopovers being made along the way. Indeed, as a result of high demand for these services, a third Viking would be added directly to the fleet the following year. Operations continued unabated until 1958 when the Vikings were withdrawn and replaced by two larger and longer range DC-4s. These aircraft would continue flying to SEN for the next year or so, albeit at a reduced frequency until operations to the airport finally came to an end around the middle of 1959.

 

Trek Airways fleet from 1954 to 1959

Vickers 498 Viking

ZS-DKH – 9/54 to ?/59

Sold to Protea Airways

ZS-DKI – 11/54 to 7/58

Sold to African Air Safaris as G-AHOW

ZS-DNU – 11/55 to 4/58

Sold to African Air Safaris as G-AHOT

Douglas DC-4

ZS-CIG – 4/58 to 9/60

DBR landing at Assiut, Egypt 3/9/60

ZS-CIH – 4/58 to 12/61

Sold to Luxair as LX-SAF

 

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

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.