WDL Aviation

Has Operated from May 1974 to Present

Country of Origin – Germany

Founder/Director – Theodore Wullenkemper

Initially part of an aerial advertising company, the WDL Flugdienst branch of the business started life in 1974. This airline’s main remit was that of providing passenger and freight charters from its base at Essen. Starting out with a number of small twins, it soon bought its first commercial airliner a year later with the procurement of F-27 D-BAKA. Many more of the type would join the WDL over the next two decades while the airline itself would also open another base and transfer the bulk of its operations to Cologne. This airline would also witness two name changes during this time, the first which saw the WDA Aviation name being adopted, to be followed by another in 1991, this time to the WDL Group.

As far as visits to SEN were concerned, this airline would visit the airport a good number of times between the period 1987 to 1998, adding itself to the long list of airlines that had frequented the airport on Ford cargo charters which in WDL’s case, were always flown by F-27s. It is also possible that flights were operated either side of these dates, although by the late 90s, a good number of its F-27s had been removed from service, possibly due to a redirection of its operations and as such, many of these aircraft would be replaced with BAe-146s.


WDL Aviation fleet from 1987 to 1998

Fokker F-27 Friendship

D-ADEP – 6/94 to 11/04

Sold to Airgenium Inc 12/04 as N138AG

D-ADOP – 6/94 to 8/02

WFU and B/U at Cologne

D-AELB*– 12/85 to 3/89

Sold to FTG Air Service

D-AELC*– 9/91 to ?/02

WFU and later B/U at Essen

D-AELD – 8/91 to 10/02

WFU and later B/U at Essen

D-AELE – 4/91 to 2/09

WFU and B/U at Essen

D-AELF – 11/93 to 10/02

WFU at Cologne and B/U during 2009

D-AELG – 11/93 to ?/02

WFU and later B/U at Cologne

D-AELH – 8/94 to ?/06

WFU and stored at Cologne

D-AELJ – 6/95 to ?/10

WFU and stored at Essen

D-AELK – 7/95 to Current

D-AELM – 12/97 to Current

D-BAKA – 6/75 to 1/97

WFU at Essen and B/U by 1999

D-BAKB*– 5/95 to 3/10

WFU at Cologne

D-BAKC – 10/95 to 6/11

WFU and scrapped at Cologne

D-BAKD – 10/95 to 12/00

WFU and later B/U at Cologne

D-BAKE – 5/86 to 9/92

B/U – Fuselage to Bonn Luftfartsmuseum

D-BAKI – 10/95 to 1/99

TFR to the Aviodrome Museum, Leystad

D-BAKO – 5/87 to 10/95

Sold to Aircraft Trading and Financing

D-BAKU – 1/83 to 1/94

WFU and later scrapped at Essen


Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this company’s SEN history or indeed, any pictures that you would like to share? If so, then please contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.