2 Excel Aviation transfers Oil Spill Response base to London Southend

A 2 Excel Aviation Boeing 727 approaches to land.
Photo Credit: Lewis Chesworth/AviationSource

British aviation and aerospace services business, 2 Excel Aviation has begun the transfer of its Oil Spill Response units from Teesside Airport (MME) to London Southend Airport (SEN).

G-OSRB marked the first of 2 Boeing 727-200s set to be based at the airport, after completing a – leg flight from Djibouti, Ethiopia with a short stop in Chania, Greece.

The aircraft was positioned out to Djibouti from Teesside for around 3 weeks from the 20th July, providing oil spill response cover to the transfer of oil from the FSO Safer (floating oil storage facility) moored in the Red Sea to a tanker.

Now that the mission is complete the aircraft has now made the move to its new base in Southend. But what about the other 727? Currently this aircraft is parked at Lasham Airfield in Hampshire, England whilst routine maintenance is carried out on the jet.

Lasham Airfield, is where all of 2Excel’s aircraft are regularly maintained to keep them up to scratch.

Why move from Teesside to Southend?

Passengers at London Southend Airport
Photo Credit: London Southend Airport


At the end of 2022, 2 Excel made residence at Teeside Airport as well as Humberside Airport further south for its smaller aircraft.

This was due to their original base at Doncaster Sheffield Airport closing on the 30th November 2022, forcing the aircraft to relocate.

In the end 2 Excel’s Boeing 727s made the move to Teseside Airport, whilst the companies smaller assets such as Beechcraft King Air 200s and Piper PA-31 Navajo’s made the move to Humberside Airport.

However, 2 Excel ran into a problem with its 727s at Teesside, because it is perceived that the aircraft must be hangared in order to preserve the aircraft’s condition, which seems obvious given G-OSRB’s immense age of 39 years old.

As such it seems the company felt the need to relocate after just 8 months at Teeside, but airport space is now at a premium, so choices were limited and it was whittled to between their maintenance hub of Lasham or Southend.

Overall it seemed Southend was selected given the large amount of hangar space available and great connections with the company already as the 2Excel’s smaller aircraft regularly use the airport on missions over the English Channel.

Why move to Teeside in the first place?

Photo Credit: Teesside International Airport

Given 2 Excel’s presence at Doncaster Sheffield Airport prior to its closure, it certainly would come as quite a shock to your company when they are forced to move out, especially at relatively short notice.

With the idea of short notice in mind, 2Excel had effectively 2 months to find a new base for all of its assets, which when looking to relocate, trying to find somewhere that fits all of your needs for crew and aircraft in such a short period becomes a quite challenge.

On that note, it seems then that Teeside was always only a temporary option for its 727s and once settled in, 2Excel would then look to find somewhere for the long term that fits its needs.

About 2Excel and its divisions

G-OSRA performs a flypast with the now disbanded The Blades also operated by 2 Excel at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2022. Photo Credit: Lewis Chesworth/AviationSource.
G-OSRA performs a flypast with the now disbanded The Blades also operated by 2 Excel at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2022. Photo Credit: Lewis Chesworth/AviationSource.

2 Excel is an innovative aviation and aerospace business working across industries including defence and security, engineering and disaster response.

The company streams two lines of business, with 2 Excel Aviation focusing on capability, development, special missions and charter flying.

The other line of business is 2 Excel Engineering, which is a significant Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO).

Within the 2 Excel Aviation aspect of the business, we find Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL), which is the company responsible for the operation of the Boeing 727s as part of 2Excel’s fleet.

The division’s main mission is to provide response services to the companies operating on the oil rigs out in the North Sea off the east coast of the UK, should in the unlikely event that an oil spill occurs.

OSRL can also be positioned out to places all over the globe to provide the same services as seen in the UK, which we have just seen with G-OSRB heading to Ethiopia.

When the 727s are being used for their main purpose, they can be found fitted with what is known as a Tersus system which is a massive rig fitted to the rear of the aircraft that sprays dispersants to break up the oil and allow it to mix it with the water better, therefore reducing its harmful impact on the sea.

Overall, this move from 2 Excel to base their 727s at London Southend is great news for the airport as it looks for as many business opportunities to recover from the dark days of the pandemic.

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By Lewis Chesworth 6 Min Read
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