Operated from Jul 1959 to Dec 1980

Country of Origin – Belgium

Founders/Directors – Charles Van Antwerpen and George Richardson

B.I.A.S. or Belgian International Air Services as it was officially known, started operations with a single C-54 flying passenger and freight charters to Europe and the African colony of the Belgian Congo. It would take more than a year for further aircraft to be added to the fleet, although during the 1960s this airline had expanded to a moderate size with a good number of types on it books which included C-47s, C-54s, DC-6s and even DC-8s, although the latter would quite naturally never be seen at SEN.

It was on July 18th 1959 that BIAS C-54 OO-VAN made one of the company’s very first revenue trips operating a flight from Brussels to Southend. After this, B.I.A.S. aircraft would continue to frequent the airport a few times per year with C-54 OO-RIC flying a Nice-Southend-Dusseldorf-Munich charter for L.T.U. on December 23rd 1960, returning to SEN that evening to take 72 passengers to Palma. It would seem that the last flight to SEN took place sometime during late 1966 being as most B.I.A.S. aircraft had been committed to carrying out operations in Biafra.


B.I.A.S. fleet from 1959 to 1966

Douglas C-54 Skymaster

OO-DEP – 6/62 to 11/64

Shot down by rebels in the Congo 29/11/64

OO-RIC*– 12/60 to 8/67

Sold to Transportflug as D-ACAB

OO-VAN*– 7/59 to 3/64

Sold to the Congolese Gov as 9Q-CHB

Douglas DC-6

OO-ABE*– 3/64 to 2/69

Sold to Trans Union as F-BRID

OO-ABG – 6/65 to 2/66

Crashed on approach to Milan 18/2/66

OO-GER*– 3/66 to 4/70

Sold to Lina Congo as TN-ABR


Recorded SEN Movement for B.I.A.S. Aircraft

Douglas C-54 Skymaster


1960 Visits

23/12 x 2 (NCE-DUS) & (MUC-PMI)


1962 Visits

19/4 (RTM-AMS) – 20/4 (AMS-AMS) – 23/4 x 2 (AMS-AMS) – 24/4 (AMS-BRU) – 2/5 (BRU-BRU) – 29/5 (RTM-BRU) – 31/5 (LBG) – 1/6 (BRU) – 21/6 (BRU-AMS)


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. (R)