Braathens SAFE

braathens-c-47-ln-pas

Operated from Jan 1947 to Apr 2004

Country of Origin – Norway

Founder/Director – Ludvig G. Braathen

If there was one Scandinavian airline that frequented SEN more than any other, then it would have to be Braathens SAFE, an airline that started out not long after the cessation of WWII hostilities. From the outset, its primary tasks would include crew positioning and cargo uplifts for the maritime fleets of both Braathen’s and those of other companies, although it quickly evolved into a charter airline which frequently hauled both passengers and freight back and forth to the Far East with suitably placed stopovers in Cairo, Karachi and Bangkok. Equipment at this stage consisted solely of the sturdy and reliable C-54, although it wouldn’t be long before C-47s were procured to fly the shorter routes. However from 1954 onwards, things began to take a downwards turn as SAS finally succeeded in muscling in and then taking over Braathens’ long distance routes.

So from here on, all scheduled flights would be confined to Scandinavia and these were flown by De Havilland Herons while European ad-hoc charter services would be flown by a mixture of C-47, C-54 and DC-6 aircraft. In fact, it was in 1954 that this airline put in its first appearance at SEN, with C-47 LN-PAS bringing in a load of 26 passengers from Aalborg on August 4th, returning to Stavanger later the same day. From this point on, Braathens would continue to use the airport infrequently until 1960, when flights began in earnest with C-47, C-54 and F-27 aircraft . July 17th 1960 saw C-54 LN-SUP carrying out the first of many stop overs and passenger charters to the airport, the former being relevant in on this day when she landed at Southend to pick up passengers en route from Bristol to Rotterdam before finally heading out to Oslo.

Such was the level of these services that in 1962, Braathens made 129 flights to and from SEN thus making this airline the airport’s most frequent, international visitor (technically speaking, SABENA would actually pip Braathens to the post here however, some of its flights were still being carried out by SEN airline Channel Air Bridge on its behalf). Many of these operations came as a result of having taken over Fred Olsen’s student charter contract which saw a multitude of F-27 flights arriving every weekend during the summer from Kristiansand, Oslo, Torp and Stavanger. Such flights were also attempted with DC-6s, but Braathens pilots were seemingly not happy with the runway at SEN and after just one rotation, the airline flew all future flights to and from Stansted and later Gatwick.

Operations never reached such a zenith again, although Braathens aircraft would still come and go frequently up until the end of 1965. Needless to say, a good number of flights would still turn up at Southend with a significant resurgence in student charters temporarily occurring during the early ’70s. However, the old, piston engined types would eventually make way for more modern equipment in the form of classic jets such as the Fokker F-28 and the Boeing 737-200, a small number of which appeared at SEN carrying out freight charters until November 6th 1988 when B737 LN-SUZ made the final Braathens trip to the airport.

With thanks to Jim Brazier for providing valuable information for this page and Chris Garton for yet more suggestions for edits.

 

Braathens SAFE fleet from 1954 to 1988

(Only those aircraft that were likely to have been seen at SEN are listed)

Douglas C-47

LN-PAS* – 3/47 to 1/64

Conv to DC-3 – Sold to Riis Flygrederi

LN-SUK* – 6/57 to 9/62

Sold to Riis Flygrederi

Douglas C-54

LN-HAT* – 2/47 to 4/61

Sold to the French Air Force as 10358

LN-HHK – ?/54 to ?/55

Sold to Loftleidir Iceland as TF-IAL

LN-SUP* – 11/56 to 6/66

Sold to Transportflug as D-ADAR

De Havilland D.H.114 Heron

LN-NPI* – 1/55 to ?/60

Re-reg as LN-SUL – 4/58 – Sold to Falck A/S as OY-ADV

LN-SUA – 3/57 to 2/58

Sold to Falck as OY-ADU

LN-SUB – 2/57 to 11/60

Sold to Exec Business Trans as N4789C

LN-SUD – 9/52 to 2/57

Sold to Manx as G-AOZN

LN-SUR – 2/56 to 11/56

Crashed at Hommelfjall, Norway 7/11/56

Douglas DC-6

LN-SUB* – 11/62 to 6/71

Sold to SAGA Norsk as LN-MTV

LN-SUD* – 12/65 to 2/70

WFU and B/U at Stavanger 2/70

LN-SUH* – 3/65 to 2/69

Sold to Brothers Air Service as VR-ABK

LN-SUI* – 1/61 to 3/65

Sold to Trans-Mediterranean as OD-AES (c/n 44064)

LN-SUI – 1/66 to 5/71

Sold to SAGA Norsk as LN-MTU (c/n 43830)

LN-SUK* – 2/64 to 9/73

Sold to Delta Air Transport as OO-VGK

LN-SUM – 5/65 to 5/69

Sold to Brothers Air Service as VR-ABL

LN-SUT – 5/65 to 3/71

Sold to Air Greenland as OY-DRC

Fokker F-27

LN-SUA* -7/62 to 6/69

Sold to Fokker as PH-FDR

LN-SUE* -3/64 to 11/75

Sold to Air Executive Norway

LN-SUF – 10/66 to 4/76

Sold to Air Executive Norway

LN-SUG* – 5/61 to 5/69

Sold to Fokker as PH-FCP

LN-SUL* -4/65 to 2/77

Sold to Air Executive Norway

LN-SUN – 12/58 to 10/68

Sold to Spantax as EC-BPJ

LN-SUO – 4/59 to 11/68

Sold to Spantax as EC-BPK

LN-SUP – 8/56 to 6/66

Sold to TransportFlug as D-ADAR

LN-SUW* -4/62 to 5/69

Sold to Fokker as PH-FDN

Fokker F-28

LN-SUC* – 3/69 to 8/86

Sold to Unifly Express as I-TIAP

LN-SUN* – 6/69 to 12/86

Sold to Ouebecair as C-GQBR

LN-SUO – 8/69 to 12/86

Sold to Quebecair as C-GQBS

LN-SUX – 3/69 to 10/86

Sold to Unifly Express as I-TIBB

Boeing 737-200

LN-SUA – 3/71 to 2/84

Sold to Arnaflug as TF-VLT

LN-SUB – 8/79 to 11/96

Sold to TACA International as N253TA

LN-SUD -4/73 to 4/91

Sold to Time Air as SE-DLD

LN-SUG – 8/71 to 7/91

Sold to Sultan Air as SE-DKH

LN-SUH – 5/76 to 8/88

Sold to FSBU Leasing as N7031A

LN-SUI – 11/75 to 5/92

Sold to Atlantic Island Air as TF-AIC

LN-SUJ – 8/86 to 12/93

Sold to the Royal Saudi Government as HZ-TBA

LN-SUM -12/77 to 8/88

Sold to FSBU Leasing as N7031F

LN-SUP* – 1/69 to 3/90

Sold to Sultan Air as SE-DLP

LN-SUQ – 6/86 to 1/93

Sold to Southwest Airlines as JA8577

LN-SUS – 12/68 to 1/94

Sold in the U.S as N408CE

LN-SUT – 11/79 to 9/90

Sold to Air New Zealand as ZK-NAQ

LN-SUU – 5/86 to 11/91

Sold to VASP as PP-SPB

LN-SUV – 8/86 to 5/90

Sold to Southwest Airlines as JA8366

LN-SUZ* – 4/86 to 11/91

Sold to VASP as PP-SPC

 

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.