A Flight into our History

Helmut Ness, German representative of the Norwegian airline Braathens South American and Far East Air Transport A/S (Braathens SAFE) founded the Aviation Handling Services Ltd. (AHS) in 1951.

Braathens SAFE was founded in 1946 by Norwegian ship owner Ludvig G. Braathen with the intention of supplying ships to other parts of the world. It began by operating charter flights in port cities in the Far East, the US and South America, including stopovers in cities such as Hamburg. Braathens SAFE was one of only two European carriers offering flights to the Far East at this time. Starting in the mid-50s, Braathens SAFE focused primarily on domestic routes in Norway and charter flights to Southern Europe.

In addition to handling Braathens SAFE ground operations at Hamburg Airport, the "Braathens SAFE Agency" took over additional tasks, such as freight orders, ground handling and representation of other airlines, including the Icelandic Loftleidir, and duty free sales.

Shortly after its founding, the company responded to customers’ requests and expanded into northern Germany through the establishment of additional operation centers at the Bremen and Hanover Airports.

In 1975, Helmut Ness opened an operations center in Cologne by taking over a vacant concession. In 1978, the company also established itself in Dusseldorf.

In 1990, the company continued to expand with its service in Berlin. At Schonefeld, Bundeswehr (German military) flights were cleared between Cologne and Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Subsequent operation centers followed at Berlin’s Tegel and Tempelhof Airports.