Channel Express

Herald G-AYMG

Operated from Jan 1983 to Jan 2006

Bases – Hurn and Exeter

Founder/Director – Art Carpenter

Starting out as early as 1971 as Carpenter’s Air Services transporting flowers to the mainland from the Channel Islands, this airline would over the years, witness a number of name changes and re-organisations, although it would always remain a cargo carrying firm. It was at the beginning of 1983 that the Channel Express name emerged, having previously been Express Air Freight (this entity’s Heralds having previously frequented SEN for engineering work with BAF) and as such, it also began to replace its elderly C-47 aircraft with yet more Heralds which had turned out to be an excellent choice for the kind of freight services that Channel was undertaking. From 1986 onwards, Channel would win a number of contracts from Fed Ex, the Post Office and then in 1989 they were awarded a contract that would bring them to Southend.

From the middle of 1989 onwards, Channel was contracted to fly nightly freight services between Southend and Cologne with their fleet of Heralds on behalf of UPS. On most nights one Herald would operate, but in some instances, a second would occasionally appear. As a result of this, UPS would take over the old Southend Corporation shed and use it as a sorting area. Herald operations would continue until late 1990 when this service was gradually taken over by Channel’s Lockheed Electras which were easier to load and unload, having been fitted out with container pallets in contrast to the manual hand loading required for the Heralds. The Electras would continue to use Southend until August 1993 when operations were moved to Channel’s new freight terminal at East Midlands Airport. However, SEN would still get the occasional visit from their F-27s on Ford charters during the mid to late ’90s.

Click on the link below to see the first of three videos of Channel Electras operating at SEN between 1992 and 1993…

Channel Electras at Southend – Part 1

With thanks to Robin J. Pinnock for the video


Channel Express fleet from 1989 to 1997

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

Handley Page Herald

G-ATDS*– 1/83 to 1/91

WFU and stored at Hurn later B/U

G-AVPN*– 11/91 to 7/97

WFU & donated to Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvingdon – Only forward fuselage survives as of 2016

G-AYMG*– 3/89 to 4/94

WFU at Hurn 7/92 and B/U 4/94

G-BEYF*– 4/88 to 11/99

WFU at Hurn 11/99 later B/U

G-CEAS*– 11/85 to 11/97

WFU at Hurn and B/U 11/97

G-CEXP*– 7/87 to 3/96

WFU – Still extant at Gatwick in very poor condition

G-GNSY*– 3/87 to 1/97

WFU at Hurn 12/96 – B/U 1/97

G-DLGD*– 11/91 to 12/92

WFU at Exeter and B/U 12/92

G-SCTT*– 8/88 to 2/97

WFU at Hurn and B/U 2/97

G-STVN*– 8/88 to 4/97

WFU at Hurn and later B/U

Lockheed L-188 Electra

G-CEXS*– 8/92 to 5/03

Sold to Air Spray Ltd in Canada

G-OFRT*– 1/93 to 5/03

WFU and stored 5/03

N341HA*– 9/91 to 4/97

Leased from Zantorp International

N343HA*– 11/90 to 4/97

Leased from Zantorp International

N344HA*– 6/93 to 7/95

Leased from Zantorp International

N5535 – 10/90 to 5/03

Re-reg to G-CHNX 11/94 – WFU 5/03

Fokker F-27

G-BNIZ* – 9/94 to 2/05

TFR to Dart Group 7/95 – Sold to MNG Cargo as TC-MNF

G-CEXA*– 1/96 to 10/04

WFU and stored

G-CEXB*– 11/95 to 3/05

Sold in Turkey

G-CEXD – 2/97 to 9/02

WFU and stored at Bournemouth

G-CEXE – 4/97 to 3/05

Sold to MNG Cargo as TC-MBA

G-CEXF*– 4/97 to 10/04

Sold to MNG Cargo as TC-MBB

G-CHNL*– 3/95 to 1/99

Crashed on approach to Guernsey 12/1/99

G-FEAE*– 2/90 to 5/92

Sold in the U.S


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.