Photos © R.Leeuw
During January 2003 news reached me that all Southern's 747s had been stored and unable to resume operations as some engines
had been removed by parties with a financial interest; apparently bills hadn't been paid and Southern had filed for Chapter 11.
GECAS refused comment and Southern I could not reach on the phone. I found no reference on the internet to Southern ceasing operations.
The events are quite sad as Southern Air Transport ceased operations before: on 25Sep98, after having been founded in 1947 (it was then based in Miami,FL). But Southern Air Inc. had no connection to Southern Air Transport, other than it was started by some ex-SAT managers (as someone said: " whose lack of imagination prevented them from coming up with an original name").
|N742SA||Boeing 747-230B(SF)||22669 / 549||lsf GECA / cvtd -230B (M)|
|N743SA||Boeing 747-230B(SF)||22671 / 574||lsf GECA / cvtd -230B (M)|
|N744SA||Boeing 747-230B(SF)||22363 / 490||lsf GECA / cvtd -230B (M)|
|N745SA||Boeing 747-2F6BF||22382 / 498||lsf GECA / cvtd -2F6B|
During April 2003 Southern was busy getting out of Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy protection; Southern had recently
acquiered a 747-200 (with nose-loading capacity) and the PH-BUI (a Boeing 747-206B (SF/SUD) cn21111/276) had been bought from KLM.
The PH-BUI handover was planned on 17Apr2003 at Amsterdam IAP and a D-check by KLM was planned immediately afterwards (roll-out of the aircraft in Southern colors would be around the end of May. The new registration would be N746SA). The deal was cancelled while the PH-BUI was sitting in front of the hangar at Amsterdam IAP to enter the D-check.
Whether Southern will be able to restart operations again, remains to be seen.
Emotions run high, as can be read by a quote from a former Southern Air Transport employee, who responded to my website:|
"I don't know who is behind the new Southern Air, but Tom Gillies is the president, and he was president of SAT when it got driven into the
ground. The bankruptcy court has recently ruled that monies recovered from the Bastian family who owned SAT and tried to steal several million
dollars with bogus Nevada corporations, will be paid out to the employees who got screwed out of vacation and sick pay when SAT went under.
In response to this I received an email in May 2006:
Southern Air restarted operations with Boeing 747-206B(SF)(SCD) N746SA (former PH-BUI of KLM Cargo) and was first reported at Dusseldorf,Germany (on a Lufthansa freight charter) on 07Dec03. By 2004 Southern Air's website (www.southernair.com) claimed to "operate a low cost cargo airline with 4 Boeing 747-200 freighters".
Fleet info: JP Airline Fleets 2001 and 2002