Skyways Coach-Air/Skyways Cargo


Operated from Sep 1955 to Feb 1971 (SCA) and Mar 1971 to Oct 1980 (AF/SC)

Main Base – Lympne

Founders/Directors – Mr Eric Rylands (Subsidiaries of Skyways)

While the history of Skyways harks all the way back to April 1929, its Coach-Air subsidiary was a later addition to the company that first came to lightskyways-748-g-armw-3-70 in 1953. Two years later, the requested routes had been authorised and coaches started ferrying passengers from London to Lympne where they would then catch a plane to the Continent. It goes without saying that this airline would also provide its aircraft for charters and it was one of these that finally brought this company to SEN. In 1969, the Ford Motor Company signed a contract with Skyways to provide regular flights between Stansted and Cologne, although a small number of these flights would ultimately find their way to Southend, either as a result of diversions or because Southend was much nearer to the Ford facility at Dagenham.

However, a Skyways Coach-Air subsidiary would make a much greater impact at SEN – that of Skyways air-freight-c-47-g-amww-04-74Cargo. Started in April 1967 as a general agent for the Coach-Air side of the business, it would eventually go on to operate freight flights under the names of Air Freight and Skyways Cargo after receiving its first equipment in February 1971. From this point onwards, the airline would have to stand on its own two feet as the Coach-Air side of the business had been forced into liquidation during the same month, although it would emerge again for a short while as a separate entity known as Skyways International. All aircraft were then given Air Freight titles and it would be down to a fleet of venerable C-47s to carry out the work although as the ’70s ended, more modern equipment in the shape of Fairchild FH-227s would attempt to replace them.

It wasn’t long after the rise of this airline that its Dakotas began to appear at Southend and during the first four years of business, they becameskyways-fh-227-g-skyb regulars, mostly hauling car parts. August 1972 would however see yet another of Britain’s infamous strikes and with it an entire bevy of aircraft at the airport, including Skyways G-AGYZ which burst a tyre while landing there on the 24th. By 1975, the airline had reverted back to the Skyways name and while company’s visits were less frequent for a time, they soon began to pick up again in 1978. By 1979, the newer F-27s began to appear at the airport and these too became a common sight, once more hauling spares for Ford. Yet, despite plenty of work and more modern equipment arriving, the airline was gone by the end of the following year and with it the long lived Skyways name.


Skyways Coach Air and Air Freight/Skyways Cargo fleet from 1969 to 1980

Hawker Siddeley H.S 748

G-ARMW* – 6/62 to 3/71

TFR to Skyways International

G-ARMX – 4/63 to 3/71

TFR to Skyways International

G-ARRW* – 3/67 to 3/71

TFR to Skyways International

G-ASPL – 3/67 to 3/71

TFR to Skyways International

G-AXVG – 11/69 to 3/71

TFR to Skyways International

Douglas C-47 Dakota

G-AGJV – 11/75 to 2/80

Sold to Air BVI Ltd as VP-LVM

G-AGYZ*– 2/71 to 6/77

Sold to Ethiopian Airlines as ET-AGQ

G-AMSM*– 2/71 to 8/78

DBR taking off from Lydd 17/8/78

G-AMSV – 6/75 to 6/81

Sold to Trans Europe Air as F-BSGV

G-AMWW*– 2/71 to 6/81

Sold to Pan Universal Aircraft Services

G-AOBN – 11/75 to 7/77

Sold to Ethiopian Airlines as ET-AGR

G-APBC*– 3/73 to 6/81

Sold to Pan Universal Aircraft Services

Fairchild FH-227

G-SKYA*– 1/79 to 6/81

Sold to TABA as PT-LBV

G-SKYB*– 4/79 to 10/80

Sold to TABA as PT-LBG


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.