This is the remarkable story of how a small airline was born.

A story about how it grew and survived amongst larger airlines operating the fast-emerging, numerous wide-body jets - a boom time for commercial aviation - on a borrowed £15,000.

A unique company, where overseas offices were kept open even in war zones, despite bullets flying outside the door, and through coups and other civil unrest; and, along the way, despite tragedy and many set-backs, it was able to forge strong links with the communities it still serves, to kick-start a major charitable project and support others by shipping their goods at little or no cost.

Perseverance and long hours working through endless ups and downs have kept freight and people flying. It is very much a story of innovation, and is written not only to place on record its history but also as a tribute to all those, past and present, whose efforts working for Redcoat contributed to its longevity.


  • 1976 Redcoat Air Cargo Ltd - The Beginning

    Our all-freighter aircraft were regular visitors all along the coast from The Gambia round to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana.

  • 1979 The early days

    Within a short space of time, Redcoat Express had opened offices in key West African cities not only to service existing customers, but also to generate more business with established international traders, mining organisations and major agricultural concerns while at the same time enabling smaller business owners to commence overseas trading.

  • 1983 The 80s

    Formed as the freight forwarding arm of the airline also provided freight for the scheduled carriers (British Caledonian and Sierra Leone Airlines) serving the routes in which Redcoat had specialised - West Africa.

  • 1990 Expanding Worldwide

    In the early 1990’s, Redcoat Express made a major investment in The Gambia building the Banjul International Airport Freight Centre, a modern computerised and secure facility which today handles the majority or shipments arriving and departing by air.

  • 1999 New premises

    Offices in the United Kingdom and the USA strengthen our strong links with the West African communities overseas ensuring that Redcoat Express has become a household name with the West African diaspora for service and reliability.

  • 2022 Expanding our network

    Our extensive Redcoat and agency office coverage today offers a worldwide range of client services, from airfreight, courier and seafreight together with the ability, through trained specialist procurement personnel to source, procure and forward customers’ needs in a one-stop, seamless logistics chain. Redcoat Express, with approaching 50 years of continuous service, remains committed to where it found it originally found its heart - in West Africa.



"Hail the Bus-Stop Britannia"

A History Of Redcoat    by     Lynn C Wilson

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