Airlines Remembered

Fred Olsen Air Tansport

Photos © R.Leeuw

Ceased operations: March 1997
Homebase: Oslo-Fornebu, Norway
Founded: 1933
ICAO callsign: Fred Olsen
Flightnbr prefix: FO / FOF
Operations: cargo

Fred Olsens Flyselskap (doing business as Fred Olsen Air Transport) had a long history in aviation and was a regular guest at my homebase, Amsterdam Int'l Airport. It was always nice to see the Lockheed Electras in their slightly nose-down approach attitude with the smoketrail clearly visible !
Its activities included extensive passenger and freight charter and contract work, calibration and aircraft maintenance and executive charter flights. Main source of revenue was derived from cargo flights.
The contract to feed cargo in the Amsterdam hub for KLM Cargo started in 1989 and routes were flown from Scandinavian destinations. It came as a shock when Fred Olsen decided to shut down his airline operations for economic and engineering reasons: it had become too expensive to operate these aircraft. All aircraft were stored and offered for sale in 1997.

LN-FOH trailing smoke into SPL
L-188 LN-FOH is seen here in approach into SPL, april 1996.
This Lockheed Electra c/n 1145 was manufactured in 1961 and its history include several identities: N9746C (Western Airlines from Feb61 till Aug72), CF-IJJ, N5767, N9746C, LN-MOI, LN-FOH and in 2002 operating with Amerer Air in Linz,Austria as OE-ILA (since Sep97). In 2006 it was acquired by Buffalo Airways of Yellowknife,NWT and took on the new identity of C-GLBA.

The prototype of the Electra was first flown in 1957 and was the first turboprop airliner designed and built in the USA. The 4 reliable Allison 501-D13A turboprops (3750hp) delivered a cruising speed of 600 kmh (373 mph) and a range of 4458 kms (2770 mls).

Fred Olsen's Electra LN-FOI is seen here awaiting cargo; their flights to and from Amsterdam were feeder services for KLM.
This Lockheed L-188CF Electra was manufactured in 1959 and assigned tailnumber N9724C; it was sold to Tasman Empire Airways in 1959 and registered as ZK-TEA (after initially ZK-BMP was not taken up), which changed to Air New Zealand in 1965. Via California Airmotive Corp.(1972 N31231), Flamingo Airlines (1972 N31231), California Airmotive Corp.(1972 N31231), she ended up with Fred Olsens Flyselskap on 11Sep73.
After Fred Olsewn shut down his airline operations in 1997, LN-FOI was stored at Coventry (UK) with Air Atlantique/Atlantic Airlines. This airframe was sold to a US-broker World Aviationn Services in 1999 and tailnumber N31231 was reserved, but not taken up. During 2002 it appeared that the airframe suffered from severe corrosion and deemed irrepairable. In 2006 it was acquired by the Ferrymead Aeronautical Society, actually the forward section only, for display at the Ferrymead Historic Park in New Zealand (shipped to Lyttelton mid-July); it was originally delivered to Tasman Empire Airways Ltd as ZK-TEA in Oct. 1959.
The fleet in 1978:
RegistrationType of Aircraft C/nRemarks
LN-FOEDassault Falcon 20125ex N812PA
LN-FOGLockheed L-188AF Electra1143ex LN-MOD
LN-FOHLockheed L-188AF Electra1145ex LN-MOI
LN-FOILockheed L-188CF Electra 2005ex N31231
LN-FOMHawker-Siddeley HS.748-2351631ex PP-VDT

The fleet in 1997:

RegistrationType of Aircraft C/nRemarks
LN-ILSDeHavilland DHC-8-103 Dash 8396Calibrator, opf Luftvartverket
LN-FOGLockheed L-188AF Electra1143converted L-188A
LN-FOHLockheed L-188AF Electra1145converted L-188A, opf DHL
LN-FOILockheed L-188CF Electra 2005converted L-188C
LN-FOLLockheed L-188AF Electra1116converted L-188A, opf DHL
LN-FONLockheed L-188PF Electra1128converted L-188A, op in DHL colourscheme
LN-FOOLockheed L-188CF Electra 1098converted L-188C, opf DHL

World Airline Fleets 1978, by Günter G. Endres (Airline Publications)
Fleet info: JP Airline Fleets 1997
"Vliegtuigen van de Wereld" encyclopedia
"A Decade of Prop Supremacy", article in Propliner magazine no.80 (1999) by Jan Koppen and Michael Prophet

Karl Hayes chronicled the history of this operator (which started out operating both passenger- and cargo flights) extensively in Propliner magazine, nos.122 ('Spring 2010') and 123.

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