Falcon Airways was a British airline that operated from 1959 to 1961 when the operating licence was withdrawn due to concerns over safety.
Falcon Airways Limited was formed in 1959 by Captain M K Kozubski with one Vickers Viking at Hurn Airport to operate charter services from both Hurn and Blackbushe Airport. In October 1959 the airline acquired three four-engined Handley Page Hermes piston airliners, although one was sold in December 1959.
In 1960 the airline and the two Hermes moved its operations from Blackbush to Gatwick but one Hermes was destroyed in a crash in October 1960 and the other was bought by Air Safaris leaving the airline without any aircraft.
In 1961 the airline bought three 82-seat Lockheed Constellations to operate long-range charter flights. Although they needed modification work to meet Air Registration Board requirements. In March Kozubski flew one of the Constellations from Gander to Gatwick with West Indian immigrants, the aircraft had unserviceable radios and navigation equipment. It also did not have enough dinghies onboard and the airline was prosecuted and fined £300. The airline did start to operate the first Constellation in May 1961 but it was withdrawn from service for maintenance shortly afterwards. The second aircraft was put into service in July 1961 but was then sold by the airline to another British operator Trans European. The third aircraft was registered in Austria rather than the United Kingdom and the British authorities refused to let the airline operate an unmodified aircraft. This temporarily grounded the airline until the first Constellation returned to service in August 1961 and following the collapse of another British airline the Ministry eventually allowed them to operate the Austrian aircraft. In September 1961 following concerns about safety the airlines operating certificate was withdrawn by the British authorities and the airline ceased to operate.
Accidents and incidents
- On 9 October 1960, Handley Page Hermes G-ALDC overran the runway on landing at Southend Airport, ending up across the Shenfield to Southend railway line. The aircraft was written off. Of the 76 people on board, five were taken to hospital with injuries.
- Halford-MacLeod 2007, p. 89
- "World Airliner Directory". Flight International: 533. 17 April 1959.
- Halford-MacLeod 2007, p. 131
- Halford-MacLeod 2007, p. 133
- Halford-MacLeod 2007, p. 134
- "Air Certificate Withdrawn" (News). The Times (London). Thursdayy, 26 October 1961. (55222), col A, p. 12.
- "G-ALDC Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- "76 Escape in Air Crash" (News). The Times (London). Monday, 10 October 1960. (54898), col E, p. 12.
- Halford-MacLeod, Guy (2007). Britain's Airlines Volume Two: 1951-1964. Stroud, Gloucestershire, England: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7524-4276-1.