Dakota G-AMGD

Operated from Apr 1960 to Jan 1970

Main Base – Luton

Founders/Directors – Mr W.H. Armstrong, Mr G.H.G. Threlfall, Mr E.J. Posey and Capt. M. Rowan

Autair began operations as early as 1953, although at this time it was purely an operator of helicopters which were used for aerial surveys, aerial photography, construction plus engineering surveys and transport. In fact, it wasn’t until April 1960 that the company purchased its first fixed wing aircraft in the form of Dakota G-AMGD, which was then almost immediately leased back to Keegan’s Continental Air Transport for the rest of 1960. However, by the early spring of 1961, two more aircraft had been added to the fleet and all three Dakotas were summarily put to work on a wide range of I.T. and ad-hoc passenger charters. Many of these flights would be undertaken on behalf of other airlines and as a result of this, Autair’s aircraft would often find themselves operating from other airports including Southend.

Indeed, with a busy summer schedule ahead and despite a good number of Vikings in its fleet, Tradair would still find itself unable to cope with the huge demand for its I.T. services and as a consequence, this Southend based airline procured the services of Autair whose Dakotas would frequent SEN on a regular basis during the summer of 1961. Otherwise, Autair would continue to expand its own I.T. services from Luton, eventually replacing its Dakota fleet with Vikings, the latter of which frequented SEN during the summer of 1962. This company would also attempt to jump on the vehicle ferry bandwagon during 1963, but the requested routes from Luton to a number of continental destinations were ultimately rejected. From the mid-60s onwards, Autair converted to Ambassadors and Heralds the latter of which spent a busy 1968 summer at SEN transporting students back and forth to Ostend on behalf of BAF before finally moving on to BAC 1-11 equipment during the same year. Two years later, the Autair name finally disappeared when it was renamed as Court Line.


Autair fleet from 1961 to 1962

Douglas C-47 Dakota

G-AGYX – 4/61 to 2/62

Sold to C.J. Bicknell

G-AJIC* – 3/61 to 11/62

Sold to Aviation Leasing Ltd

G-AMGD* – 4/60 to 11/61

Sold in Rhodesia as VP-YTT

Vickers Viking

G-AGRW* – 1/62 to 8/64

WFU & ended up as coffee bar in Soesterberg, Holland

G-AHPJ* – 1/62 to 5/65

Sold to Aero Sahara as F-OCEU

Handley Page Herald

G-APWC* – 11/66 to 1/70

TFR to Court Line

G-APWD* – 11/66 to 1/70

TFR to Court Line


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.