Is established at Prague in early spring 1997 to offer scheduled and charter services to domestic locations. President Petr Bold launches flights with a single Let L-410.
ABA SWEDISH AIRLINES (AKTIEBOLAGET AEROTRANS-PORT, A. B.): Sweden (1924-1951). Destined to become the largest of the prewar Scandinavian national airlines, ABA is formed at Stockholm by Adrian and Carl Florman on March 27, 1924. In cooperation with the Finnish pioneer Aero O/Y, shareholding is acquired by Junkers Flugzeugwerke, A. G., which provides a pair of F-13s on May 5. The new entrant launches Junkers F-13 passenger service from Stockholm to Helsinki on June 2.
The fleet is upgraded in early 1925 by the addition of four Junkers G.23s (license-built in Sweden by AB Flygindustrie), which are christened Gotaland, Svealand, Skane, and Noorland. The first of these trimotors, indeed, the first three-engine, all-metal monoplane in the world to enter commercial service, is delivered in May. It is employed to inaugurate operations to Malmo, Hamburg, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam on May 15 as part of a Scandinavia-London through service in cooperation with Imperial Airways, Ltd. As others of the type, which will serve as inspiration for the famous Ju-52/3m, become available, they fly to such destinations as Copenhagen and Berlin.
The single Junkers G-24 Uppland, convertible from wheels to floats, is received in 1926; it is used between Stockholm and Helsinki as a floatplane, and as a landplane on the route from Malmo to Amsterdam, via Hamburg. In 1927, a pair of Junkers W.33s and two W.34s are also acquired.
On June 18-19, 1928, an F-13, piloted by Bernard Liljelberg, flies from Stockholm to London (Croydon Airport), via Malmo, Hamburg, and Amsterdam, on the first experimental night airmail flight in Europe; the service is flown regularly in August and September.
ABA continues to emphasize international operations during the remainder of the prewar years.
ABA and Aero O/Y introduce the marketing name Scandinavian Air Express in 1930 to cover their Stockholm-Helsinki operations, the northern portion of which is flown by Aero O/Y. Joint summer night-airmail services are also inaugurated, Stockholm-Helsinki-Amsterdam.
The Fokker F-XII Varmland is delivered in early 1932 and begins operations on two routes out of Malmo—to Amsterdam and Berlin. The G-23 Svealand is lost on a night-airmail flight in August. During the fall of 1933, orders are placed for a pair of Northrop Deltas.
The first of the advanced American aircraft, the Delta 1C, is delivered in April 1934. Christened Halland, it is employed to undertake mail services from Stockholm to Paris. On the first flight, the aircraft completes its service in a record 4 hrs. 40 min., at an average speed of 198 mph. The second Delta, the 1E, arrives in mid-June; christened Smaland, it enters regional mail service.
Less than a month later, on July 6, rudder flutter causes the Sma-land to crash at Almhut, in Smaland; the two crew members successfully bail out. The Fokker F-VIII Jamtland is received in October and is placed into service on the Malmo to Gothenburg route. Plans to enter the Halland in the England-Australia MacRobertson Race during the month fall through and the Delta 1C is, instead, placed into regular scheduled passenger service from Malmo and Copenhagen to Gothenburg and Hanover.
In March 1935, a four-engine Fokker F-XXII is received; christened Lappland; it is placed in service on a route from Malmo to Amsterdam. After 1,218 flight hours, the Lappland is lost in a Malmo crash in June 1936 (one dead).
With the opening of the new Bromma Airport in early July, the Scandinavian Air Express services, flown in cooperation with Aero O/Y between Helsinki and Malmo are now extended to Stockholm.
A night airmail service is run London-Stockholm after July 27, in cooperation with British Airways, Ltd. (1); ABA operates the Hanover-Stockholm sector, employing a Junkers Ju-86 equipped with U. S.-made Pratt & Whitney Hornet engines.
In January and April 1937, the carrier sells two of its Junkers Ju-52/3ms to British Airways, Ltd. (1). In May, the Northrop Delta 1C Halland is sold to the famous English aviatrix Mrs. Beryl Markham. ABA, in July, becomes the second airline in Europe after KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, N. V. to take delivery of a Douglas DC-3, which is christened Ornen (Eagle). Capt. K. G. Lindner employs the Douglas on August 17 to inaugurate Stockholm-London, via Amsterdam, Scandinavian Air Express service.
In March 1938, the carrier receives the Junkers Ju-86 Svalan (The Swallow), which is placed into service on a night-airmail service between Stockholm and Hanover via Malmo. Later in the year, representatives from the governments of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and their national airlines agree to pursue the idea of joint Bergen-New York flying boat service in cooperation with Pan American Airways (PAA).
During 1939, a route is extended to Moscow. When war erupts in September, the carrier’s fleet comprises 5 Junkers Ju-52/3ms, 2 Junkers W.33s, and 3 DC-3s. Shortly thereafter, the carrier obtains a Fokker F-XXII from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, N. V. and a used F-VIII from British Airways, Ltd. (1). A fourth DC-3 is acquired in November and is christened Gladen. Passenger boardings for the year will exceed 40,000.
The Douglas DC-2 Haan is purchased from KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines, N. V.) on January 13, 1940. Shortly thereafter, the American-built transport is acquired by Count Carl-Gustav von Rosen, who presents it as a gift to the Finnish Red Cross. The German invasions of Norway and Denmark in April cause the Swedish government to refuse ABA a subsidy to support any deal with Pan American Airways (PAA) and delays proposals for joint cooperation. The company’s fifth DC-3, the Gripen, arrives on May 16.
The carrier is successful in providing neutral service to Allied and Axis countries alike early in the war. With five DC-3s now on hand, all clearly marked with the word “Sweden” in large letters on the sides of their fuselages, the company maintains flights to both Berlin and Moscow. In late June 1941 when Germany invades Russia, the Moscow service is suspended. The Berlin frequencies are maintained.
On March 27, 1942 direct Stockholm-Aberdeen (Dyce Airport) DC-3 courier services are initiated and proceed apace until June 21-22 when Luftwaffe night fighters down a pair of Douglas transports. The flights are resumed on August 15 and continue. Also in August, the old Fokker F-VIII Jamtland, which has flown 5,350 hours with ABA, is sold to the Royal Swedish Air Force.
When Marcus Wallenburg founds Svensk Interkontinental Luftrafik, A. B. (SILA) at Stockholm on June 9, 1943, he has an agreement from ABA to concentrate on domestic and regional service, leaving long-haul flights to the new enterprise.
Tragedy strikes the U. K. courier service again during the year’s second half. En route from Scotland to Stockholm on August 27, the DC-3 Gladen, with four crew and three passengers, is shot down; the Gripen, with four crew and 11 passengers, shares the same fate over Hallo, Sweden, on October 22, although in this instance there are two survivors.
Flights between the Sweden and the U. K. are now suspended. Representing the unborn consortium SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System),
Per Norlin orders 7, later 10, Douglas DC-4s on November 27.
In 1944, nine interned Boeing B-17 bombers are taken in hand and converted to civil status; it is tacitly agreed that the planes would eventually be given to and paid for equally by the three state airlines. Only the Swedish line is immediately able to claim it’s three. Meanwhile, on January 17, German permission is received to resume Sweden-U. K. safe conduct flights. Service from Stockholm to Prestwick resumes on March 7, but is suspended on April 18. On April 25, Germany bars Stockholm-Copenhagen flights.
On June 20, Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. (DLH) takes over ABA’s continental traffic in order to prevent leaks by aircrews or passengers concerning Allied bombing damage in the Reich or the mood of the German people. In October, the Scottish courier terminus is switched to Prestwick in order to accommodate the converted B-17s now employed.
Stockholm-Helsinki service stops on March 5, 1945. Meanwhile, Berlin services continue until just before the German capitulation in May. Thereafter, the postponed negotiations between the three Scandinavian carriers and governments for the actual establishment of a joint consortium begin anew. On December 6, a converted B-17 crashes near Straegnaes (six dead).
Wearing ABA colors, the first Douglas DC-4 from the group ordered three years earlier arrives on May 1, 1946 and is christened Nordan. On July 31, the SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) is formally established with Carl Florman signing the consortium constitution on behalf of ABA and Marcus Wallenburg for SILA. Capital shareholding in the new organization is divided by ratio between the companies with the ABA/SILA combined portion representing 3/7. The agreement establishes Overseas SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) for operation of international flights; however, each partner will initially continue to provide domestic services.
Wearing large prints of the flags of the consortium nations, the Overseas SAS DC-4 Nordan, on September 16, inaugurates transatlantic roundtrips from Stockholm/Copenhagen to New York via Prestwick and Gander.
In 1947 , route agreements for Swedish regional services are reached between ABA and SILA.
A DC-3F with five crew aboard crashes at Bulltofta Airport, Sweden, on August 9 (one dead). On October 26, a DC-4 with eight crew and 36 passengers, crashes on Mt. Hymettus, Greece, while on initial approach to Athens; there are no survivors.
Early in 1948, the company becomes the launch customer for the SAAB 90A-2 Scandia with an order for ten. On April 18, the regional operations of ABA and its two partners are combined into a European Division of SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) and on July 1, ABA and SILA are fully amalgamated under the former’s name. On the same date, the old Fokker F-XII Varmland is finally sold, to Svensk Flygt-janst, which loses it in a hangar fire in December.
On February 8, 1951, in a move made retroactive to October 1, 1950, the Overseas and European divisions are merged in a final consortium agreement. SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) becomes the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden with the partner airlines now becoming the nonflying national holding companies.
ABACO AIR, LTD.: P. O. Box AB, Marsh Harbour International Airport, Abaco, 20492, Bahamas; Phone (242) 367-2266; Fax (242) 367-3256; Http://www. oii. net/abacoair; Year Founded 1975. Abaco is established at Marsh Harbour, on the island of Abaco, in 1975, to offer charter services to the rest of the Bahamas, the Turks and Caico Islands, and to Florida. Revenue flights begin and continue with one (later three) Aero Commander 580 and a Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander. By 2000, the little company is the longest-continuing charter operator in the nation.
ABACUS AIR, GmbH.: Germany (1983-1985). Organized at Frankfurt in 1983, Abacus undertakes weekday-only scheduled flights from
Cologne to Amsterdam and Hanover with a Fairchild-Swearingen Metro
II. The company also owns a Cessna Citation executive jet with which it undertakes passenger charters for industry. Unable to achieve viability, the carrier shuts down in 1985.
ABAKAN AVIA: Abakan Airport 8, Abakan, Krasnoyarsk Region, 662608, Russia; Phone 7 (39172) 50 722; Fax 7 (39172) 56-408; Code ABG; Year Founded 1993. This Russian start-up carrier is established at Abakan Airport in 1993 to offer regional services. Nikolay Z. Baranov is named managing director and he launches scheduled revenue flights with a mixed fleet that includes 1 each Antonov An-24, Ilyushin Il-76, Let L-410, Tupolev Tu-154B, and 2 Mil helicopters. Khakasia Airlines, founded at the same time, becomes an associate.
Operations continue apace in 1994 as the fleet is increased to include 11 more An-24s, 3 additional Il-76s, 11 more L-410s, 3 additional Tupolevs, 5 Mil Mi-8s, and 12 Mi-2s. Traffic figures are, again, not reported.
A Let 410UVP with 2 crew and 17 passengers, fails its takeoff from Krasnoyarsk on January 20, 1995, clipping some trees and crashing into a field (3 dead).
Flights continue without further incident in 1996-2000. During these years the company comes to concentrate on all-cargo operations. The Russian currency crisis late in the decade requires Abakan to reduce its fleet to just 3 Il-76Ts and 1 Tu-154B.
ABAKANSKOE AVIAPREDPRIATIE (ABAKAN AIR ENTERPRISE): Russia (1994-1997). A competitor to Abakan Avia is established at Abakan Airport in late 1994. Operations commence over a domestic route network with an unspecified number of Antonov An-24s, Tupolev Tu-154Bs, and Let L-410s.
Under the leadership of Director General B. M. Kochetov, flights continue in 1995-1997, during which years the fleet is increased to 5 An-24s, 2 Let 410s, 6 Tu-154Bs, plus 5 Mil Mi-8 and 10 Mi-2 helicopters. During the latter year, the company is renamed Khakasia Airlines.