Operated from Jun 1957 to Jan 1993

Country of Origin – Switzerland

Founder/Director – Unknown/Swissair

This small Swiss airline initially started life in 1953 as a training school for pilots, although by the middle of 1957 it had procured its first commercial type and commenced operating charters under both its own banner and for other airlines. It was one of the latter that brought Balair to Southend for the first time on August 31st 1957, when Viking HB-AAR arrived on a multi leg charter flying Dusseldorf-Southend-Frankfurt-Southend-Munich for German airline LTU. Over the coming years, Balair would fly the odd C-54 in and out of SEN while its Vikings and later its DC-6s would operate onĀ  Saturdays during the summer, flying passenger and student charters from Basle and other destinations in Europe. The year 1962 turned out to be one of the airline’s busiest, racking up a total of 25 arrivals during the high season. While flights would not maintain the same level of consistency during the late-60s, in 1969 ATEL would become instrumental in preparing two former Air Ferry DC-6s for Balair which would later be sent to carry out relief work in Biafra.


Balair fleet from 1957 to 1969

Vickers 610 Viking

HB-AAN* – 5/58 to 2/63

Sold to Air Ferry as G-AIVF

HB-AAR* – 6/57 to 2/63

Sold to Air Ferry as G-AIVD

De Havilland D.H 104 Dove

HB-LAQ* – 12/59 to 7/68

Sold to Gordon Airways as CF-GAA

Douglas C-54/DC-4

HB-ILA – 5/59 to 5/60

Crashed in Sudan 15/5/60

HB-ILB – 12/60 to ?/63

Sold to Mary Herzog Stucki as N9760F

HB-ILC* – 6/60 to 3/63

Sold to Air Ferry as G-ASFY

HB-ILD – ?/67 to 9/70

Sold to Congofrigo as 9Q-CWJ

HB-ILU* – 10/59 to 12/69

Sold to Aer Turas as EI-ARS

Douglas DC-6

HB-IBR – 5/64 to 3/69

WFU at Basle and B/U in 1970

HB-IBS* – 1/69 to 9/82

WFU 6/75 – Later sold to Conair Aviation as C-GIBS

HB-IBT* – 1/69 to 5/69

Crashed in Uli, Biafra 7/5/69

HB-IBU* – 1/62 to 2/74

Sold to Span East Airlines as N617SE

HB-IBZ* – 12/61 to 12/71

Sold to the Zaire Air Force as 9T-TLB


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. (R)