Empire Flying Boats

In 1923 the British Marine Air Navigation Company was formed with its base at Woolston. In 1924 the company was amalgamated into Imperial Airways which was government backed.

Empire Flying Boats had their base in Southampton till 1929. In 1935 activity began again, this time with a base at Hythe. The government wanted all parts of the Empire to be linked by an airmail service which started in 1937.

During the war the airmail service went to Poole returning to Southampton in 1948. Imperial Airways became BOAC in 1940.

The flying boats used Berth 50 between Town Quay and Ocean Terminal. BOAC stopped its service in 1949 but Aquila Airlines continued until 1958.