Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


Established in April 1989 the airline began operations in 1990 with its fleet of . Embraer, Bandeirante and Beech King Air aircraft. Mostly employed by The Royal Mail, Parcel Force and UPS, operations originally included the purchase and sale of executive aircraft and operations and maintenance services for its own and customer's but soon moved into the charter of aircraft to other operators this included branded wet lease, ad-hoc and contract passenger and freight charter services, as well as VIP flights and the continued sale and maintenance of other aircraft.

In March 1992 the first jet joined the fleet in the shape of a BAE146 and begun operating flights on behalf of the independent tour operator Palmair from Bournemouth until 1999.

A second BAE146 joined in 1994 to be operated on behalf of Swiss tour operator, Falcon Travel. The aircraft was based in Zurich and operated to England 365 days a year.

A third BAE 146 was to join the fleet in December 1996 this was operated on ad-hoc and medium-term A C Ml contract work for European airlines

Flightline leased aircraft at short notice to airlines across Europe and also had a contract to fly FordAir flight from Southend to Cologne in Germany and Valencia in Spain, it also operated a contract for Shell Oil where it flew as many as 14 flights a day between Aberdeen and Scatsta, Shetland Isles these flight were for the transportation of the oil rig workers who would then be airlifted by helicopter on to the rigs.  The company also held operating contracts with British Airways for flights out of London City Airport.

The BAE 146 fleet could be configured in 48 business class seats, 80 five abreast seats, 94 six abreast seats or in an all economy 110 seats HiPax operation, the aircraft could also be operated in two class cabins. The short take off and landing capability enabled the aircraft to operate out of airfields with restricted runways.

The engineering division, Flightline Engineering, had a JAA145 maintenance facility at Southend, the airline also operated flights on behalf of Lufthansa, British Airways, Aer Lingus and Air France. It is currently flying daily scheduled services on behalf of Qantas between Manchester and Heathrow airports

In March 1997, Palmair Flightline, the Bournemouth based operation, was voted the "5th best Airline in the World" in a survey carried out by the Holiday 'Which' Magazine.

A major contract with Swissair was signed in 1999, however the contract was lost when Swissair went into receivership

In April 1994 the engineering division was granted JAR 145 approval for aircraft maintenance. During 1995 the engineering division moved to a 17,000 sq. ft purpose built hangar at London Southend Airport.

Flightline was granted a contract in 2002 to serve the Integrated Oil Consortium to operate 3 aircraft in support of the oil industry based in Aberdeen. This contract was renewed in early 2004.

British Airline Management was set up by Flightline in July 2001 to establish itself as an international wet-leasing and consultancy company outside of the JAA area.

At 10:00am on Friday 3rd December 2008 Flightline announced it has gone in to receivership and that all flying would stop immediately, an attempt to re-launch the airline in 2009 failed and the name disappeared in August.


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