Home Airlines & Airliners West Atlantic Ends BAe ATP Flights

West Atlantic Ends BAe ATP Flights

Who Still Flies the Type?

by Matt Falcus

The last remaining European operator of the British Aerospace ATP turboprop airliner retired the type on 24 February after years using the type to haul cargo.

West Atlantic of Sweden, as well as its UK subsidiary, had been flying these aircraft for many years – long after airlines retired the type from passenger service.

Now they’re gone, are any other ATPs still flying around the world?


History of the BAe ATP

The ATP, or Advanced Turboprop, was a development of the HS/BAe 748 aircraft produced by British Aerospace in the 1980s.

It introduced a number of improvements, including greater passenger capacity, improved engines, avionics and cockpit, and operational savings over the previous airliner, which dated from the 1960s.

Aimed at regional operators and commuter services, the ATP proved popular particularly in the UK, and also saw service with some airlines in Europe and North America.

Key operators of the BAe ATP included:

  • Air Europa Express
  • Air Wisconsin (operating as United Express)
  • Biman Bangladesh
  • British Airways
  • British Midland
  • Loganair
  • Manx
  • SATA Air Acores

As the number of passenger operators dwindled, many of the 65 aircraft built were converted into freighters and found their way to airlines like West Atlantic, flying for both West Atlantic Sweden and West Atlantic UK.

The final passenger operator in Europe was NextJet – a Swedish domestic operator who ceased flying in May 2018.


Final West Air ATP Flights

West Air Sweden had retired much of its BAe ATP fleet during the past two years, with a few airframes soldiering on.

The final flights took place on 6th January 2023 (SE-LGX), 9th February (SE-MAM) and 24th February (SE-LGZ). These saw the aircraft positioning to the airline’s base at Malmo, where they remain stored.


Are Any BAe ATPs Still Flying?

Encomm BAe ATP-F 5Y-GMG at Isle of Man EGNS 27/10/18

Most of the BAe ATPs that have been active recently are over 30 years of age, and thus offer little in the way of remaining lifespan.

Therefore their future is uncertain, with many other ATPs having been scrapped or permanently withdrawn from use in recent years.

While little is known of their day-to-day operations, a number of ATPs have escaped to presumed active service with other carriers. They include:

EnComm Airlines

This Kenya-based airline has five ATPs assigned to it. One is thought to be in passenger configuration, while the others are freighters. They are:

  • 5Y-CKO (2006)
  • 5Y-GME (2023)
  • 5Y-GMF (2045)
  • 5Y-GMG (2015)
  • 5Y-GMH (2017)


Deraya Air Taxi


This Indonesian airline also had four ATPs in its fleet until recently.

Two have been written off, and the remaining two – both freighters – have been grounded since mid-2021. It is unknown whether these will be reactivated in the future.

So it seems chances of ever flying on a BAe ATP again are slim, and active examples are next to all gone, with aged stored examples unlikely to fly again.


West Atlantic’s Future Fleet

Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

After operating a total of 40 BAe ATPs in its history, West Atlantic is now looking to more modern aircraft types as its business progresses and grows.

Today, the West Atlantic fleet (across both Swedish and UK divisions) comprises:

  • 4x ATR 72-212(F)
  • 4x Boeing 737-300(F)
  • 7x Boeing 737-400(F)
  • 5x Boeing 737-800(F)/(BCF)




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Peter Wells March 1, 2023 - 3:28 pm

Years ago, a Pan-Am agency in Australia (I think) had a poster in the window that said that “Our 747 is so different that we call it a 748”. Little did they realise that our Great Britain’s 748 would outlast Pan-Am!

MERVYN CROWE March 2, 2023 - 5:33 am

I was fortunate to have had two flights on the ATP 64, G-LOGD May 94 BHD/MAN, and G-BRLY in April 1991 on a demo flight out of Melbourne. Great aircraft, and very lucky to have had a tour through the Woodford production line in May 1987.

Jez March 3, 2023 - 9:10 pm

I had two flights in a BAe ATP, both operated by British World Airlines. I was always sad the aircraft didn’t make it’s mark saleswise like it’s older brother the 748.

Bruce Mills March 9, 2023 - 8:02 am

As my memory fades I can just about recall a trip around Bae’s old Avro factory in Chadderton near Oldham wherein the first prototype ATP’s fuselage skeleton had just been jigged up.
A few years later on another excursion through the plant at Chadderton it was evident its days were numbered. The drawing office’s rooms were bare. Its filing cabinets though were still stuffed with drawings. Including, I was excited to discover, original construction details for the English Electric Canberra. One other memory sticks about that last visit to ponder Roy Chadwick’s old office, where the Lancaster and the Vulcan were born and the plant’s remains, was seeing a Bae Nimrod being dried out to be refurbished after it had ditched and been fished out of the North Sea.
Those the days.

Matt Falcus March 10, 2023 - 10:47 am

Amazing! Thanks for sharing Bruce.


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