Fred Olsen


Operated from Nov 1946 to Feb 1997

Country of Origin – Norway

Founders/Directors – Rudolf Olsen through Bonheur and Ganger Rolf

Having survived for more than 50 years before its untimely demise in 1997, Fred Olsen Air Transport had during this time, become one of Northern Europe’s most well known private airlines. As with many aviation concerns of the time, a rather convoluted formation would occur, this beginning as early as 1933 when the Olsen brothers (Fred Olsen & Co) founded Norwegian Air Lines along with several other businessmen and business concerns including the Bergen Steamship Company which became a partner in 1934, mostly in attempts to stave off competing airline Wideroe. A few water borne types were bought including a Junkers W34, a Junkers Ju 52 with floats and a Sikorsky S-43 flying boat all of which were used to fly local and European services. However, the Nazi invasion in 1940 suspended all flying and the two remaining aircraft were seized and sent to Germany.

It wasn’t until early 1946 that Norwegian civil aviation started to pick up again with Rudolf Olsen securing his interests as part of two holding companies Boheur and Ganger Rolf. These entities would then seek to get Fred Olsen Transport up and running as quickly as possible with the purchase of war surplus C-47s, the first of which would join the company in May 1946, while a further two would arrive in November when operations actually began. As such Fred Olsen restricted itself to cargo and passenger charters with the first of the company’s aircraft appearing at SEN around 1954, in the form of DC-3/C-47s to be followed by its C-46s in 1958. Indeed, the level of operations eventually got to such a respectable level that Fred Olsen took the decision to base a station engineer at SEN.

However, a number of crashes soon saw the airline looking to acquire more modern equipment which began to arrive in the form of 700 series Vickers Viscount turboprops and it was in 1957 that these aircraft slowly started showing up at Southend. The Viscounts would for the most perform passengers services from Oslo and the Low Countries, the very first of of these being flown by Viscount LN-FOI which arrived on April 4th 1960, with LN-FOK making another trip to SEN on the 20th. Then with the advent of student and affinity charters in 1960 and 1961, Fred Olsen’s entire fleet of C-46s and Viscounts could often be seen on the SEN apron during summer weekends. However in 1962, Braathens took over these contracts and this airline temporarily disappeared from SEN while it underwent a period of reorganisation into a cargo only airline.

Sufficed to say, the three C-46s that had been operating to SEN since the late-50s and two newly acquired DC-6s would eventually start flying to SEN again from late 1966 and April 1967 respectively from where they would fly the odd marine crew charter but more importantly, take over the weekly Transair freight contract between Malmö, Southend and Amsterdam after the previous operator Tor Air had gone into administration. As a footnote, the company’s Falcon 20 jets would also frequent the airport during the early ’70s, usually on on executive charters, while Electra flights would occur from time to time too flying freight charters on behalf of the Ford Motor Co. Indeed, the last recorded visit to Southend by this airline would be a freight flight flown by Lockheed Electra LN-FOH on December 14th 1990.

With thanks to Jim Brazier and Chris Garton for providing information for this page.


Fred Olsen fleet from 1959 to 1990

Douglas C-47/DC-3

LN-IAS* – 10/52 to 8/61

Sold to Fairways Rotterdam as PH-SCC

LN-NAB* – 11/46 to 4/58

Sold to Linjeflyg as SE-CFM

Vickers 779 Viscount

LN-FOH* – 4/57 to 1/62

Sold to Indian Airlines as VT-DOE

LN-FOI* – 5/57 to 1/62

Sold to Indian Airlines and VT-DOH

LN-FOK* – 7/57 to 1/62

Sold to Indian Airlines as VT-DOI

LN-FOM*– 4/57 to 1/62

Sold to Indian Airlines as VT-DOD

Curtiss C-46 Commando

LN-FOP* – 11/59 to 6/71

Sold to Continental Air Services as XW-PHL

LN-FOR* – 11/57 to 6/71

Sold to Continental Air Services as XW-PHM

LN-FOS* – 11/57 to 6/71

Sold to Continental Air Services as XW-PHN

Douglas DC-6

LN-FOL* – 11/66 to 4/74

Sold to Iscargo Iceland as TF-IUB

LN-FON* – 1/67 to 1/77

Sodl to African Air Charter as 9Q-CMG

Convair CV-340

LN-FOF – 9/68 to 10/76

Sold to Scanbee as SE-GTE

Dassault Falcon 20

LN-FOE – 5/74 to 12/77

Sold to the Royal Norwegian Air Force as 125

LN-FOI* – 10/69 to 12/70

Sold to the Royal Norwegian Air Force as 14

Lockheed L-188 Electra

LN-FOG – 11/73 to 5/97

Sold to Atlantic Air Cargo as G-LOFD

LN-FOH* – 11/73 to 9/97

Sold to Amerer Air As OE-ILA

LN-FOI -*9/73 to 1/90

WFU at Coventry 8/97 – Sold to World Aviation Serv 12/99


Recorded SEN Movements by Fred Olsen Aircraft

Curtiss C-46 Commando


1962 Visit

16/6 (MMX-MMX)

Vickers 779 Viscount


1961 Visits

6/11 (FBU-RTM) – 9/11 (FBU-RTM) – 18/11 (FBU-RTM) – 26/12 (SVG-RTM)

1962 Visit

6/1 (TRF-RTM)


1961 Visits

4/12 (RTM-RTM) – 11/12 (FBU-RTM) – 16/12 (RTM-FBU) – 17/12 (FBU-FBU)

1962 Visit

4/1 (KRS-FBU)


1961 Visits

7/11 (FBU) – 10/11 (GOT)


1961 Visits

24/11 (FBU-RTM) – 22/12 (FBU-BRU)


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.