Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 140,489 pages of information and 227,382 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Silver City Airways

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Silver City Airways was a private, British independent airline

1946 Silver City's first commercial flight departed London Heathrow for Sydney via Johannesburg in late 1946.

1947 Silver City leased its first Bristol Freighter aircraft, moved its base to Blackbushe Airport and participated in the airlift of Hindu and Muslim refugees between Pakistan and India.

1948 control of Silver City passed from the Zinc Corporation to British Aviation Services. In July of that year, the airline inaugurated the world's first air car ferry service across the English Channel between Lympne Airport and Le Touquet Airport.

1948–49 Silver City participated in the Berlin Airlift.

1949 It established a French sister airline.

1953 Silver City took delivery of its first Bristol Superfreighter.

1954 The company moved to a new permanent home at Lydd Ferryfield, Britain's first newly constructed post-war airport.

The same year, Silver City Airways came under the control of the General Steam Navigation Co which was owned by Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co

By 1960, Silver City's 40,000 annual cross-Channel flights transported 220,000 passengers and 90,000 vehicles while network-wide freight haulage reached 135,000 tons a year

1962 Unsustainable losses as a result of the loss of the Libyan oil industry support flight contract, increasing competition from roll-on/roll-off ferries and the lack of suitable replacements for the ageing Bristol Freighters resulted in growing financial difficulties, culminating in Silver City's takeover by British United Airways (BUA) holding company Air Holdings in 1962

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