View Full Version : Bahama World Airways / Int'l Air Bahama

1970s Spotter
21st Nov 2012, 08:45
Is there anyone out there who worked for either BWA or IAB in any capacity who would be willing to share their experiences?
I am intending to write an article on both, and while I have a rich seam of information I have no first hand accounts.
Anything would be apprecited and dealt with in confidence.

21st Nov 2012, 11:39
Flew on International Air Bahama as a kid from Nassau to Luxembourg several times. First memories I recall as a three year old. DC8 And the bulkhead divider with airbrushed pictures of Big Ben, Eifel tower etc... The smell of fresh coffee. The beautiful red tiled houses on descent over Europe. The different shades of blue arriving back in the Bahamas.
Made such an impression that all I ever wanted to be was an airline pilot from that age on. It worked.
Sorry I don't have any contacts of former employees.

22nd Nov 2012, 05:40
Bahamas World Airways aquired 2 Boeing 707-321's from the defunct Lloyd Internatioal Airways in 1972 which were painted up in El Al colours. Rumour has it that they did a cheap paint job and went on The Hadj. One aircraft flew through some heavy cloud and apparently lost much of the new paint job and landed in Jeddah sporting mainly El Al livery. Very embarrassing.:}

27th Nov 2012, 11:22
I used to fly with a navigator who had flown with them. He was ex-RAF, wartime, be-medalled (although he'd never have told you) and wonderful fun to fly with.

After the war, he flew with BOAC, then BUA, then various outfits including BWA which he talked about most fondly. He descried them as "true adventure"

I recall him saying as the company headed towards it's inevitable collapse, flight planning became easier and easier. There were so few places they could go without getting arrested/impounded for non-payment of this, that, or the other, they only needed to consider the destination!

Alas, he is most unlikely to be with us anymore. He would be well over 90 and was never in the best of health

Good luck with your research,


27th Nov 2012, 12:40
I might be mistaken, but didn't a couple of the 707's end up impounded/dumped at the Aer Lingus maintenance facilty at DUB for a good few years in the 70' to 80's period ?


27th Nov 2012, 19:30
Bahamas World built up a fleet of three used 707s in 1972-74, when they all were repossessed. After a while they seemed to make a comeback from 1976-82 with odd leased Convair 880, 707 and DC8 capacity, generally just one at a time and sometimes none, seemingly from the nearby Miami grey-market community.

International Air Bahama (later just plain Air Bahamas) seems to have been a much better funded operation, with a long-term relationship with Loftleidir in Iceland, and behind them Seaboard from the USA, whose DC8-63 aircraft they leased long term. They built up to a near-daily Nassau to Luxembourg (where they touched the Loftleidir operation) low-fare scheduled service, nothing else really, selling on bus connections to Frankfurt and Paris etc. They operated from 1968 to 1981, for the first year with a 707. There are a number of (inevitably simplistic) timetables here.

Air Bahama (http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/iw.htm)

30th Nov 2012, 07:33
I might be mistaken, but didn't a couple of the 707's end up impounded/dumped at the Aer Lingus maintenance facilty at DUB for a good few years in the 70' to 80's period ?

Yes that is correct.

The flight deck of VP-BDF is at a museum in Ireland.

Cavan and Leitrim Railway Museum - Dromod - Ireland (http://www.aviationmuseum.eu/World/Europe/Ireland/Dromod/Cavan_Leitrim_Museum.htm)

Photo of what is left of the flight deck here;

Planepictures.net search: Airport: Cavan and Leitrim Museum, Dromod, Co Leitrim, Ireland (http://www.planepictures.net/netsearch4.cgi?srch=Cavan%20and%20Leitrim%20Museum,%20Dromod ,%20Co%20Leitrim,%20Ireland&stype=location&srng=2)

Fris B. Fairing
30th Nov 2012, 08:23
Bahamas World also operated an ex-Qantas 707-138B VP-BDE 1971-74. The aircraft was named "Spirit of 73". The images of VP-BDF referenced above show that this aircraft carried the same name. So was this name carried on multiple aircraft?

History of VP-BDE (http://www.adastron.com/707/qantas/VH-EBE.htm)

1970s Spotter
3rd Dec 2012, 10:14
Thanks for all the help and info' !

Liffy 1M
5th Dec 2012, 22:11
Below are a couple of views of VP-BDF at Dublin in the early 1980s. It was broken up in 1984, if I recall correctly.

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1330/5118428053_908e49a42b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5118428053/)
Bahamas World Boeing 707-321 VP-BDF (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5118428053/) by Irish251 (http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3297/3432667452_606a5d51c5.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3432667452/)
Bahamas World Boeing 707-321 VP-BDF (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3432667452/) by Irish251 (http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr

Sister-craft C6-BDG was restored to airworthy status and flew off to Miami in about 1979 as N433MA.

Boeing 707-321 - Click here for larger image (http://www.worldairpics.com/photo/1017517/M/Boeing-707-321/N433MA/MCA-Leasing/)

Hotel Tango
7th Dec 2012, 22:05
Flew on an IAB DC-8-63 (N8630) from LUX to NAS via SNN in March 1976. Part of the on board entertainment was a fashion show by the attractive all female cabin crew.