Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Hillman's Airways

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November 1932.

Hillman's Airways of Maylands Aerodrome, Harold Wood, Romford. Head Office at London Road, Romford.

Hillman's Airways was a 1930s British airline that later became part of British Airways.

The company was formed in November 1931 as Hillman's Saloon Coaches and Airways Limited by Edward Henry Hillman who was a coach operator in Essex. His previous business had been sold to London Transport following a change in government rules on the expansion of bus routes.

The airline's first service was a charter flight on 25 December 1931.

It started a scheduled service on 1 April 1932 between Romford and Clacton using a De Havilland Puss Moth and a De Havilland Fox Moth; with a fare of £1 return it was operated every three hours due to the popularity.

A De Havilland Dragon was bought to operate an international service between Romford and Paris Le Bourget.

From 1 December 1934 the airline was given a contract to fly air mail between London, Liverpool, Glasgow and Belfast formerly operated by the Railway Air Services. Following the award of the contract Hillman changed the legal name from Hillman's Airways Limited to Edward Henry Hillman Limited and the airline extended its services to continental Europe, including Ostend and Brussels. On 1 June 1934 the airline moved its operating base to Stapleford Aerodrome.

Just before Hillman died, on 31 December 1934, aged 45, the company became a public company, although within a year it had been merged with two other airlines to form British Airways.

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