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-   -   Skywest history (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/309573-skywest-history.html)

halas 21st Jan 2008 16:32

Skywest history
Am trying to piece together the history of Skywest in the 80's.

Ansett bought Skywest to get East-West.

EWA was acquired from Bryan Grey by a prominant WA businessman who owned Skywest.

Is this correct?

Can anyone give a detailed account of how,who and when this all transpired?

EWLoco you there?

Thanks in advance

Ex employee


PS Am aware of the break up of Airlines and Aviation divisions thanks.

David Eyre 22nd Jan 2008 01:27


Do a Google search on "Skywest and East-West Airlines". Here's some useful links I found:




Niles Crane 22nd Jan 2008 02:33

Ozaviation is 95% correct, they left out some aquisitions.

In 1983 Skywest bought 100% of HC Sleigh Aviation and Sleigh Airlines. The Sleigh Group started life as Executive Airlines in Essendon who originally held the VIC/TAS aerial Amubulance contracts with all the VH-EX... Aerocommanders.

HC Sleigh Aviation had the Customs contract Australia wide with Nomads and Coastal Surveillance Contracts from Millingimbi and to the East. Skywest already had Darwin and WA Coastal Surveillance.

Skywest immediately sold Sleigh Airlines who operated from Essendon to Tasmania including 3 hangers at Essendon.

Out of this sale, Airlines of Tasmania was formed, Esso started their own service from Essendon to Sale with a Citation instead of the Baby Metro and Steve Nott with backing from the original owner of Executive Airlines started GAM at Essendon.

halas 22nd Jan 2008 03:25

Thanks Fella's.

No mention of the shenanigans with Coastwatch and Amann Aviation, or the Lloyd merger in the Oz article.


Stationair8 22nd Jan 2008 07:51

Mr Amman got the coastwatch contract in 1988/89.
Supposed to start early 1989, but he deferred it due to no equipment until late 89, but he never started. He used the aircraft on his charter ops out of Darwin. Aerocommander AC681 VH-NY?, Aerocommander Jet forerunner to the Westwind, A MU2G, B55 Baron and A36 Bonanza. Run until early 90's and then gone.

Capt Wally 22nd Jan 2008 08:29

.........God "Amman " aviation !!!........now that was a joke ! That brings back memories !
"Niles' I think you will find that Exec's/HC Sleigh airlines had 4 hangers, numbers 1, 6, 7 & 8, 8 being the one next to the twr. No 1 hanger where knotty ended up with GAM was more a storage hanger, well that's how I remember it way back then. I worked for Execs back in the days of Alan P......... in the eng o/haul shop overhauling the Vh EX..... IO540's !!!............ahhhhh those where the days when the Canberra bombers where up at the northern end of the airport rotting away !:{ Geeez the day VH ALH (I think it was)didn't quite make it back to EN, sad day indeed.
wow, are we really that old !

Sorry for the thread drift guys


QFinsider 22nd Jan 2008 10:21

Yep from memory the Hangers mentioned by Captain Wally are correct..

A few of those Canberras used to hang around Hanger 104..That hanger belongs to Vic Pol these days

Continental-520 22nd Jan 2008 10:44

Does anyone know what the meaning behind the FN in the registrations are? I seem to remember that all the Ansett B737s had the VH-CZ_ rego's, and the CZ stood for one of the members of the Ansett family's name, and obviously the RM used in the B767 fleet was the man himself, from what I understand anyway.

Anyone know the background there?


David Eyre 22nd Jan 2008 22:56


THere is some info about the Amann Aviation / Skywest issue here:


If you Google for Amann Aviation, you will also find a number of legal references. Amann sued the Commonwealth for breach of contract:

From the ANU website:
"The Amann Aviation case is an example where termination of a contract backfired.

In March 1987, Amann Aviation won the contract to provide coastal surveillance services in northern Australia. Although it did not at the time have the scale of operations or the expertise or equipment to meet the contract, it was to acquire resources before commencement of the contract in September. Its tender had indicated that acquisition of resources was feasible, but, in practice, it was apparent that the company was not in a position to begin operations by the start-up date. The Commonwealth therefore terminated the contract. In a subsequent court case, damages of over $5m were awarded against the Commonwealth."

Can't find anything about the Skywest merger with Lloyd.


morno 23rd Jan 2008 00:08

520, I believe the CZ in the Ansett 737 fleet was after Sir Reg's wife, Catherine Zara. I have been proven wrong before though.


halas 23rd Jan 2008 09:06

Interesting that when Ansett bought Lloyd it was on the proviso that Guy Lloyd didn't start up a fixed wing operation for a certain amount of years after the transaction was signed.

It didn't stop him from bank rolling Warren Seymour and NJS was born.

What a fickled industry!


PS VH-FNQ was for Far North Queensland, but l know it was one of the last F27's Australian had when they had the (original) Cairns base. I guess it was on the AN list at one stage

skywest_xr 23rd Jan 2008 09:58

There is a book kicking around called "Ansett", floppy book put out shortly after the collapse. Forgot the author though. That contained some timelines and interesting information with regards to the mergers and aquisititions of subisuaries over the years.

Also, try www.ansettinwa.org, that may or may not have some info for you.

Continental-520 23rd Jan 2008 14:52


I believe the CZ in the Ansett 737 fleet was after Sir Reg's wife, Catherine Zara
It does.

I have been proven wrong before though
Yes, I know you have. :p

Grrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiingo. :eek:


Niles Crane 30th Jan 2008 04:19


Interesting you brought up the Amman aviation sideshow, I remember watching them painting the aircraft in the new Coastwatch colours in the open in 20kt winds, a real Professional outfit.

From the day Skywest acquired HC Sleigh until Skywest Aviation was sold off the Pearl, they never actually won another contract, they only lost them.


Aeromed in the NT was Pearl, acquired from NTAS, it was never part of Skywest.


Desert Duck 30th Jan 2008 05:19

Skywest started in Wittenoom, WA with a PA23 a long time ago

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