Old Logo

General Info

Established: 1946
Country: Norway
Number of aircraft: 34
Number of staff: 3840
Number of destinations (countries/cities): 8/29
Internet-Address: www.braathens.no


Although the Braathens we know today is a Norwegian domestic airline, the company has its roots first in shipping and then in air travel to the Far East.

Braathens was founded by Ludvig G. Braathen on 26 March 1946, and began operations with three DC-4 Skymasters. Mr. Braathen originally ran a shipping company, but became fascinated by the idea of putting wings on ships in order to supply the Norwegian merchant fleet all across the world. Since the company was founded it has remained in the family, and has been passed down from father to son. Ludvig G. Braathen's son Bj°rn G. Braathen headed the company from 1977 to 1989, when he in turn passed the reins on to his son, Erik, who is President and CEO today.

The first Braathens flights went to the northern part of South America and the Far East, primarily to Bangkok and Hong Kong. And these early destinations have given the company its name, Braathens South-American & Far East, abbreviated. At that time, all scheduled flights between Europe and the Far East were by seaplane, and took much longer than similar flights today. Braathens Skymasters made the trip from Gardermoen Airport to Hong Kong in four days, which was dramatically shorter than the time needed to reach the Far East by other forms of transport. In the beginning, charter flights to the East were scheduled only once a month, but the frequency soon increased to once a week.

As traffic grew, however, the various countries to which Braathens flew became more restrictive in their aviation transport policies. This led to problems in maintaining the frequency of chartered flights, and Ludvig G. Braathen applied for a concession to fly regular scheduled services to the Far East. His application was approved, and the company was given a five-year concession to fly the route from Oslo-Stavanger-Amsterdam-Geneva-Cairo-Basra-Karachi-Bombay-Calcutta-Bangkok-Hong Kong. When the Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) was set up in 1951, the new airline was given a monopoly on all international flights from Scandinavia on Scandinavian airlines. Braathens applied for a renewed concession in 1954, but the application was turned down on the grounds that the route now belonged to SAS. Thus, Braathens Eastern route was discontinued in 1954.

In 1952 Braathens signed the first agreement for corporation with the Icelandic airline Loftleidir. Together with Loftleidir and with Icelandic concessions Braathens operated schedules with DC-4 from Europe to the US via Iceland. Braathens and Loftleidir offered low fares, and the airlines constituted a substantial competition an the Atlantic routes via-a-vis the established operators. The corporation with Loftleidir lasted for 10 years and was vital for Braathens after the operation to the Far East had to be terminated.

In 1952 the first route between Oslo-T°nsberg-Stavanger was introduced, and the route between Oslo and Trondheim was added the following year. From a humble start of 2,800 passengers in 1952, Braathens has expanded into Norway's largest airline, with a total of 4.8 million passengers in 1996.

Braathens owns 50 % of the shares in the Swedish scheduled carrier Transwede Airways AB. Transwede operates self domestic services between Stockholm (Arlanda) and Luleň, Umeň, Sundsvall, J÷nk÷ping, Halmstad and Ístersund. Transwede operates from Terminal 2 at Arlanda. 710.000 passengers travelled with Transwede throughout Sweden in 1996.

In January 1998 Braathens got a new identity. All their planes etc. are being redesigned.

Old logo:

Fleet History

Braathens' Douglas DC-4 Skymaster

Douglas DC-3: 1947-1964
Douglas DC-4: 1947-1966
DH-114 Heron: Until 1960
Douglas DC-6B: 1961-1973
Fokker F-27: Until 1977
Fokker F-28: 1969-1987
Boeing 737-200: 1969-1994
Boeing 767: 1984-1986

Todays Fleet

Boeing 737-400

Aircraft in Fleet: 7
In fleet since: 1989
Thrust: 22000 / 23500 lbs
Total pass.: 150
Cruise speed: 850 km/h
Range: 2400 km
Max. start weight: 68 tons
Payload: 15.0 tons
Height: 11.1 m
Wingspan: 28.9 m
Length of aircraft: 36.4 m
Crew (cockpit crew plus Cabin crew): 2 pilots 4 stewardesses

Boeing 737-500

Aircraft in Fleet: 20
In fleet since: 1990
Thrust: 18500 / 20000 lbs
Total pass.: 120
Cruise speed: 850 km/h
Range: 2760 km
Max. start weight: 53.0 / 61.7 tons
Payload: 15.0 tons
Height: 11.1 m
Wingspan: 28.9 m
Length of aircraft: 31.0 m
Crew (cockpit crew plus Cabin crew): 2 pilots, 3 stewardesses

Boeing 737-705

Aircraft in Fleet: 7
In fleet since: 1998
Thrust: 24000 lbs
Total pass.: 134
Cruise speed: 850 km/h
Range: 3680 km
Max. start weight: 67.5 tons
Height: 11.13 m
Wingspan: 34.31 m
Length of aircraft: 33.63 m
Crew (cockpit crew plus Cabin crew): 2 pilots 3 stewardesses


Updated 16/3-02 by Michael Katz <mkatz@online.no>
Republishing strictly forbidden