Westminster Airways

Operated from Jun 1946 to Feb 1951

Main Bases – Heston, Kenley, Croydon and Blackbushe

Founders/Directors – Air/Com A.V Harvey, L/Col W.H Bromley-Davenport, Maxwell Aitken MP & Michael Aster MP

As possibly one of the only airlines within the vast annuals of British Aviation History to be run by a group of MPs, Westminster was chiefly set up to carry out small passenger charter operations which later involved a considerable number of diverse trips including the transport of young refugees from Eastern Europe to Britain, the collection of strike affected holiday makers who had no way of returning home from France and the repositioning of marine crews around Europe. Much of this early work was undertaken by a fleet of six Consuls, although an Avro 19 and two C-47s would later be added to their inventory. Otherwise, a glut of work would take Westminster to much of Europe, the Middle East and Southern Africa. However by 1951 its entire fleet had been disposed of and from this point onwards, Westminster concentrated solely on offering aircraft engineering services up until its demise in 1958.

As far as Southend links are concerned, the following details are known. Westminster’s two Dakotas were initially put to work on the Berlin Airlift although these aircraft would eventually find themselves making way for converted Halifax bombers which while not the most suitable of freighters could nevertheless after conversion, transport much heavier loads. There is some evidence that the Westminster Halifax fleet visited Southend for engineering work during the Berlin Airlift years. The records state that three of the company’s four aircraft had been sourced from Aviation Traders and a small number of arrivals were witnessed including one made by an Airspeed Consul, possibly on a business visit to ATEL. If anyone can confirm these or further details, then please do not hesitate to let me know via the email address below.

 

Westminster Airways fleet from 1947 to 1950

Airspeed Consul

G-AHMC – 6/46 to 12/47

Sold to a private owner in W.1

G-AIBC – 7/46 to 12/47

Sold to a private owner in W.1

G-AICZ – 7/46 to 12/47

Sold to a private owned in W.1

G-AIIN – 10/46 to 9/47

Sold to Airwork Ltd

G-AJLI – 4/47 to 12/49

Sold to Fairflight Ltd

G-AJNG – 6/47 to 11/48

Sold to British Aviation Services

D.H.104 Dove

G-AKET – 8/47 to 9/49

Sold to a private owner in W.1

Douglas C-47 Dakota

G-AJAY – 1/47 to 6/50

Sold to Iberia as EC-AET

G-AJAZ – 1/47 to 12/48

Sold to Iberia as EC-ADR

Handey Page Halifax/Halton

G-AHDL – 2/49 to 4/49

Crashed landing in West Germany 1/4/49

G-AHDM – 11/48 to 9/50

WFU at Blackbushe and later scrapped 9/50

G-AHDV – 3/49 to 2/51

Sold to Lancashire Aircraft Corp

G-AJNW – 4/47 to 4/49

Leased from Payloads Ltd

Auster Autocrat

G-AJEE – 5/47 to 3/50

Sold to W.S. Shackleton

 

Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this airline’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.