View Full Version : 1967 - British Independent Charters

30th Mar 2008, 15:47
I'm researching the non-scheduled flying programmes of the British Independent Airlines during 1967.

I have gathered quite a bit of data about the scheduled operations, but for obvious reasons details of the non-scheduled ones [ mainly the Inclusive Tour charters] are much harder to pin down.

If anyone has any detailed information, I'd welcome any help that can be given - especially useful would be copies of any logbooks from that year showing typical routes, schedules and sector times. I've already located the ATC logs for both LHR and LGW [ at the Surrey Library archives in Woking, if anyone else is interested ! ], and these are invaluable, but the LHR ones only show aircraft registrations and [sometimes] flight numbers rather than routes, so I'd especially welcome help on the British Eagle
and the BKS Britannia programmes for that summer, as well as any flying from Manchester/LIverpool/Glasgow/Prestwick etc.

Hope you can help.

30th Mar 2008, 20:52
Hi, A bit before my time, But at that time at MAN, DA 707's, Comets, early 111's on Euro Charters???

DA Viscount to Jersey???.

Possibly MON Britannia's on Euro Charters, If so I don't think they would have been more than 2/3 based???

BY Britannia's on Euro Charters, A bit early for the 732's as the first one was delivered in late 1967/8.

BA Airtours 707's I think on Euro & US charters???

A MAN based BA Airtours 707 was 'written off' at PIK on a Training Flight in the late 60's/ mid 70's.

As you rightly said it is hard to find any information on the charter flights, Anything before the late 1970's seems very rare.

LBA - BKS Viscount's were based, Mainly on Scheduled, Don't know about the charter???

As far as I know Northeast only did LHR, GLA scheduled with Viscount/ Tridents.

Don't know of any BY/MON charters at LBA in that time???

DA Viscount to Jersey???

I'm sorry if the above is not much help, But I agree it is hard to find any information, Even photos of that era these days.

Now that you have mentioned this, I myself am keen to research these years.

I don't know how long ATC/OPS at MAN keep their logs for???

Air Britain, North West Aviation Society could help???


30th Mar 2008, 21:02
Hi Captain, Is your interest specific to the year 1967 ? or before and after ? During that year I was working at LTN for longish periods, Britannia were very busy, still with britannias, training with B737 came late that year.
There was also Autair with heralds etc, which later became Court Line (large thread on them here somewhere).
A very busy, early period for charter flights, I hope to be of further use in the near future. Keith.

31st Mar 2008, 09:18
There was a series of paper back A4 size books titled "British Independant Airlines since 1946" in 4 editions edited or written by Tony Merton Jones who now edits Propliner. I understand that these have now been collated and updated into one hardback edition, available from your usual supplier.

I found them a mine of vnformation about the more obscure charter airlines that operated out of Croydon Airport in my misspent youth. For instance I always assumed the plane that crashed round the corner from me around 1947 was a Consul, not so, it was a Miles Gemine, whose single engine performance was dire in a straight line let alone coming uphill from the Tower towards Ridge Park. Sorry Mods, slight thread drift here more suitable fior the Croydon Airport thread. Hope this helps, Alan

31st Mar 2008, 14:14
We never based acft at MAN, all Comets & 70s were LGW based, I should know, they were my 'Wunderkins'. The 70 lost at PIK was a crew trng detail.

31st Mar 2008, 19:03

I seem to remember the following operated weekly summer charter services from Luton that year:

Friday evening 7pm ish - Condor Flug Viscount 800
Saturday 6am ish - Balair DC-6
Sunday afternoon/early evening - 2 x Sudflug DC-7Cs

1967 was before Britannia had 737s, so they were operating 8 x Britannia 102s.
Monarch weren't formed until early 1968.
Autair's One-Elevens didn't arrive until 1968, so they were using three Herald 101s, 2 HS748s and 3 AS57 Ambassador 2s.
BMA used C4 Argonauts, DC-3s and Viscounts on their weekly Jersey service.

I don't think BEA Airtours were operational in 1967.
Dan-Air's first two Comets were introduced in 1967.
BAC One-Eleven users were Laker (G-AVBW,X,Y delivered early 67), Channel Airways ('VGP del Jun 67), British Eagle ('TPH-L, 'TTP, 'TVH operational in 67), and BUA ('SJA/C-J, 'STJ operational in 1967)

Hope this helps.


1st Apr 2008, 03:02
Although the link below refers to 1964 the BKS Britannia IT programme was similar in 1967. The routes are shown in red. A note to the webmaster on the site may help you and/or put you in touch with someone who can remember more. I was on the Viscount/748 at the time so wasn't really involved.

Good luck, Flightwatch


1st Apr 2008, 04:56
I think I am correct in saying that BUA with their BAC1-11s were amongst the first into the IT charters. BUA sold the aircraft to the charterer at basic operating cost, (no profit), but made their money from the sale of duty free. Probably still a few retirees out there from BUA who will remember and correct me if I've got it all wrong!:ok:

1st Apr 2008, 08:50
I think the concept of making your margin from the duty-free sales is a bit of an urban legend; such sales were mostly on the return sector anyway. Sales commission was paid to the cabin crew and I understand that did make a difference to them though ! In addition many of the operators did not make any margin at all - look at the number that went out of business at the time.

Quite a lot of the charter revenue in 1967 was still from military troop charters, were there any duty free sales on those at all ?

I'm away from my reference sources currently (like the book mentioned above) but I'll have a guess at Manchester in 1967 and then look them up on return.

Britannia probably the number 1 oerator, with a couple of Britannias.

British Eagle, also with Britannias. They also ran a similar operation out of Liverpool.

British Midland with Argonauts, as sadly became prominent during the year.

British United with one based One-Eleven. Along with its other advantages a key feature of the One-Eleven was that you could get three round trips a day to the main Mediterranean destinations of the time (Gerona, Palma, Rimini, etc) rather tha two with a prop aircraft.

Caledonian with a Britannia.

Dan-Air with one or two Comet 4s.

Air Ferry with a DC4 (which the day before the Stockport accident went the same way at Perpignan).

Still some BEA charters using overnight time on the Vanguard fleet.

Various Mediterranean operators; SAM from Italy with DC6Bs, Inex-Adria with the same from Yugoslavia. A couple of operators from Spain (changed from year to year) with DC4 and DC6.

1st Apr 2008, 10:43
Didn't Donaldson and Eagle do charters also?

Regarding the Duty Free I heard it was on the outbound leg as supply at LGW wasn't good or competative in those days, and they had spent everything by the time they came back but, as you say, possibly an urban legend!

1st Apr 2008, 19:59
I was involved with some of the costings in Autair/Court in those days and I can assure you the the Duty free was no urban legend.:rolleyes:
The whole point of seat back catering was to give more support to duty free.
Some of the best bar sales were the Lourdes flights !

Some of the outbound flights did such good bar sales that were we were weight limited the return bar was re-stocked at the outstation.;)
Also the minatures that were consumed en route had an even bigger margin:)

I think the point about many operators going broke makes the point exactly - that it was a very thin margin operating the aircraft:bored:

When CL first operated the Bac1-11 to Spain Clarkson were paying 13 per pax round trip !

2nd Apr 2008, 21:10
A few British Independents using MAN in 1967:

Transglobe - Britannia's
Treffield Aviation - Viscounts
LLoyd International - B707's
British Midland - Viscounts

2nd Apr 2008, 21:20
Also Autair International with Heralds and Ambassadors.

4th Apr 2008, 10:40
Thanks for the various replies to my post - apologies for delay in response but I've been out of the circuit for a few days.

I'm responding to some posts by PM rather than bore everyone with follow-ups.

I'm fairly clear on the overall picture for the year in terms of what airlines flew which aircraft and from which airports - its the degree of detail below that I'm generally stuck on, in relation to specific routes and schedules, also aircraft performance re. typical block times, as most of the data I have is for later [mainly jet] types and I've little on routes from non-London airports !

All help appreciated - keep them coming.

4th Apr 2008, 10:58
1. Alpha India

"I don't know how long ATC/OPS at MAN keep their logs for???"

Think I may have located Manchester ATC logs in Public Library in MAN, but they won't copy them for me so I've got to get up there and do it myself.

2. bigal1941

Yes, the book is called "British Independent Airliners 1946-1976 by Tony Jones and is aboslutely invaluable - well worth the money. Also Tony himself has been a great help to me in adding extra details to some of the data in the book as well as copying parts of out of print "Propliner" magazines for me.

3. LGS6753

Thanks for the memories of Luton - interestingly, altho some other sources advise that DA only had 2 Comet 4's operating that year, the LGW ATC logs clearly show 3, although only 2 seem to have been committed to regular charters.

4. TSR2

Not sure about Treffield using MAN in 67, as they were only operational for 7 weeks or so, and their flying was almost all out of LIV, BRS/CWL and LGW- do you have any details ?
Also, Lloyds didnt get their 707's until 1970 - they did have an IT programme with Britannia 300's out of GLA then, also out of Berlin - Tegel, but nothing regular out of MAN I think.

5th Apr 2008, 00:36
Hi Captain, A person who will probably know enough about all this is a 'Mr Alan Scholfield, he is a member of TAS, And also the MAN Historian.

I used to be a TAS member, (The Aviation Society) it is a very good society, I shall be renewing it later this year.

If you contact TAS itself you may get intouch with Alan.


5th Apr 2008, 03:50
Donaldson and Lloyd International were regular visitors to KLAX during this period, as I recall.
Both, B707's, staight-pipes, I think.

6th Apr 2008, 17:20
The early 707s which came to the UK independents first arrived on the following dates according to my data :

Caledonian : July 1967 (new)
British Eagle : Dec 1967 (new and ex-Qantas)
Laker : Jan 1969 (ex-British Eagle)
Lloyd : March 1970 (ex-Pan Am)
British Midland : Apr 1970 (ex-Pan Am)
Donaldson : Dec 1970 (ex Pan Am)
Britannia : Feb 1971 (ex-US dealer)
Dan Air : Mar 1971 (ex-Pan Am)
Monarch : Sep 71 (ex-Northwest)

The British Eagle ones didn't last long as the airline was bankrupt 10 months later and the ex-Qantas 707s went to Laker. Caledonian and Laker were the only two UK operators of independent 707s until the 1970s when Pan Am started to take delivery of the first 747s and sold off their old straight-pipe 707 fleet.

8th Apr 2008, 02:25
Happy memories...