Operated from May 1955 to Oct 2009

Country of Origin – Germany

Founders/Directors – R. Myhill and B.A. Dromgoole

L.T.U. or Luftransport Unternehmen as it was officially known had a long relationship with SEN, which would see a flurry of visits during the 50s and early ’60s that subsequently declined only to grow again during the late ’60s. The airline itself started out operating I.T. charters from its base at Frankfurt with the ubiquitous Vickers Viking and over the coming years, would often be the first airline to introduce new types to the SEN apron. With B.K.S. having purchased all of B.E.A.’s remaining Viking spares in 1956, Southend would also naturally become something of a magnet for most Viking operators. In fact, the very first ‘L.T.U.’ flights from SEN involved the departure of D-ABIR and D-ABEL, two ex-B.E.A. Vikings that had been prepared for delivery to Germany with the first of these leaving on February 27th 1956. This was followed by L.T.U.’s fourth and fifth Viking in February 1957.

However, it was at the beginning of January 1957 that L.T.U.’s Vikings started powering into SEN mostly on passenger flights from Düsseldorf with the 3rd witnessing the return of D-ABEL and by March 3rd, two aircraft were often arriving daily with Vikings D-BABY and D-BALI turning up on this ltu-f-27-ph-nvfday. Other types would also infrequently appear and at least one Dove and a DC-4 would visit the airport during the late 50s. Between the years of 1957 and 1964 the summer months would usually witness at least one flight per day culminating in more than 70 flights during the high season of 1962. The previous year would also herald in the very first arrival of an F-27 comprised of the second prototype which was at the time on lease to L.T.U. As the ’60s went on the Vikings were eventually replaced by F-27s although visits by this airline became less frequent in number as flights began to operate into Gatwick instead, but at the time this airport was ultimately considered unsuitable.

Thus as the ’70s approached, operations would gain a second wind, not to mention bring a number of L.T.U. jets to the airport. Two more firstsltu-caravelle-d-abav involved the arrival of a Fokker F-28 in 1969 carrying the rather infamous registration of D-ABAQ while in November 1971, D-ABAV would become the very first Caravelle to touch down at the airport. Flights would carry on until 1973, all operated by F-27s and F-28s while the Caravelle would visit just once. Operations would consist of standard passenger flights, a small number of student charters and freight flights would be flown too. However, by the end of 1973 it was all over as L.T.U. had once again taken the decision to move their operations to Gatwick and with the exception of the odd, rare flight, this would be the last that Southend would see of this airline.


LTU fleet from 1957 to 1973

Vickers Viking

D-ABEL* – 12/55 to 10/60

Re-reg as D-BALI* 7/57 – TFR to Kurt Conle

D-ABIR* – 2/56 to 4/58

Re-reg as D-BONA* 3/58 – Sold to Aviameer as OO-EEN

D-ADAM – 3/54 to 6/57

Sold to Balair as HB-AAR

D-AIDA – 4/57 to 4/58

Re-reg as D-BETA 3/58 – Sold to Aero Transport Flugbettriebs as OE-FAT

D-AMOR* – 2/57 to 8/63

Re-reg as D-BABY* 3/58 – Sold to Air Ferry as G-AOCH

De Havilland D.H 104 Dove

D-INKA* – 3/57 to 8/58

Leased from Sabena – Bought 6/57 – Sold to Sotramat as OO-DAL

Douglas C-54 Skymaster

D-ADAL* – 9/59 to 8/60

Sold to Keegan Aviation/British United as G-AREK

D-AMIR* – 3/58 to 8/60

Sold to Keegan Aviation as G-AREL – Temp leased back to LTU until 10/60

Fokker F-27

D-BAKA* – 4/66 to 4/69

Sold to Fokker as PH-YFF

D-BAKE – 8/62 to 3/65

Sold to Balair as HB-AAU

D-BAKI* – 5/63 to 7/74

Initially leased as PH-NVF* 2/61 to 10/61 – Sold to WDL Aviation

D-BAKU* – 11/61 to 5/69

Sold to Fokker as PH-FSG

D-BEKU – 3/72 to 5/74

Sold to Icelandair as TF-FIP

Fokker F-28

D-ABAM* – 3/71 to 8/74

Sold to Bouraq Indonesia as PK-PJS

D-ABAN – 2/71 to 12/74

Sold to Pelita Air as PK-PJU

D-ABAQ* – 2/69 to 4/73

Sold to Aerolinee Atavia as I-TIDU

D-ABAX – 4/69 to 4/73

Sold to Aerolinee Atavia as I-TIDB

PH-MOL* -4/70 to 6/71

Leased from Fokker

Sud SE-210 Caravelle

D-ABAF (1) – 8/64 to ?/68

c/n 21 – Sold to SNIAS as F-WLGA

D-ABAF (2) – 1/72 to 1/76

c/n 263 – Leased from SNIAS

D-ABAM – 12/67 to 6/68

Sold to Air Inter as F-BNKI

D-ABAP – 12/67 to 10/79

Sold to SAT Flug

D-ABAV* – 2/68 to 5/79

Sold to SAT Flug

D-ABAW – 7/68 to 8/78

Sold to SAT Flug

D-ANYL – 12/69 to ?/74

Sold to Trans Europa Compania de Aviacion as EC-CIZ


Recorded SEN Movements for L.T.U. Aircraft

Vickers Viking


1962 Visits

19/4 – 20/4 – 21/4 – 24/4 – 6/6 – 30/6 (All DUS-DUS)

Fokker F-27


1961 Visits

18/12 – 21/12 x 2 – 22/12 – 23/12 x 2 (All DUS-DUS)

1962 Visits

4/1 – 6/1 – 8/1 – 25/2 – 4/3 – 11/3 – 18/3 – 25/3 – 1/4 – 8/4 – 18/4 – 19/4 – 20/4 – 25/4 – 26/4 – 28/4 – 30/4        



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.