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LUTON History and Nostalgia

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LUTON History and Nostalgia

Old 11th Nov 2015, 13:51
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Over the winter of 93-94, Britannia got rid of their remaining 737-200s
I guess that was when Britannia pulled the plug on its scheduled service to Belfast from Luton. Can't remember them doing any other scheduled services.
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Old 11th Nov 2015, 14:10
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" Britannia pulled the plug on its scheduled service to Belfast from Luton."

I always thought Britannia missed a great opportunity there. I operated several of those BFS-LTN schedules, they were cheap and they were always full.
If Brit had kept the newest of the 732s (which went for silly money), kept on the pilots, (who they paid to go away) they would have had the wherewithal to extend the scheduled service network. Ryanair and Easyjet might never have happened.
Not that I'm complaining - I and quite a few others did very well out of the way things happened.
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Old 12th Nov 2015, 04:38
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Whatever happened to Britannia Airways flying club? They had a small fleet of light aircraft that were dressed up in Britannia's logos and were kept in their hangar 89.
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Old 12th Nov 2015, 08:31
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The BAL flying club aircraft were "pushed out" by the airport shortly after EZY moved into H89..a lack of space was the given reason.

The aircraft moved to Cranfield and the club carried on there for a few years. After the merger with First Choice, the company withdrew any subsidies and the club became a private concern (Azure Flying Club) 1965 vintage PA28 G-ATHR is still with them but Mooney G-OBAL was sold a few years back..

Ref, the BAL BFS schedules....these were simply a way of increasing aircraft utilization at the time (usually the flights operated around the MOD Germany charters) This was never Thomson's core market.
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Old 12th Nov 2015, 10:35
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"This was never Thomson's core market."

I realise that. My point was that given the success of the BFS schedule they might have foreseen the growing demand for cheap scheduled flights. They had the makings to hand and could have diversified to meet the demand.
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Old 12th Nov 2015, 12:39
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The BAL 737-200 fleet was becoming extremely maintenance intensive (which was the primary reason for their withdrawal) Also, the full deregulation of European skies didn't happen until 1997. By then, BAL was only flying 757's on European services and had tailored the fleet around the requirements of Thomson holidays. EZY were always positioned to make more of a success of low cost scheduled flying in Europe having been set-up with a suitable cost structure from day one.

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Old 14th Nov 2015, 22:02
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Talking of a missed opportunity, didn't Richard Branson and Virgin start fights to Ireland, think it was a viscount in the days but my memory isn't that good now.
Does anybody remember when this operated and why it stopped?
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Old 15th Nov 2015, 09:05
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The Viscount service to Dublin started in 1987 and the 727's (operated by Club Air) operated during 1988....

https://www.flickr.com/photos/antonov22/8552323272
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Old 15th Nov 2015, 12:12
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think it was a viscount in the days but my memory isn't that good now.
Does anybody remember when this operated and why it stopped?
Simples.

When? Sunrise -30 to Sunset +30

Why? Guess they didn't have a night rating. (it's just the sort of important little detail that RB often misses when he comes up with his cunning plans, very few of which have actually worked)

I'll get my coat...
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Old 15th Nov 2015, 14:57
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"he comes up with his cunning plans, very few of which have actually worked"


Really ?? I wish I was as unsuccessful. Why do so many people slag off Branson ??
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Old 17th Nov 2015, 08:53
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RB did front Virgin CityJet from LCY to Dublin. I don't believe they ever operated from LTN though.
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Old 17th Nov 2015, 17:30
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Think they just flew as Virgin from Luton rather than Virgin Atlantic. Seem to remember that Richard Branson was at Luton for the first Viscount flight
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Old 17th Nov 2015, 19:06
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Originally Posted by boeing_eng
The BAL 737-200 fleet was becoming extremely maintenance intensive (which was the primary reason for their withdrawal)...
Which were then all sold on to Ryanair who didn't seem to have any difficulty with the costs or reliability of running them for on high-utilisation 10-sectors a day type operations that the aircraft had never seen before in its life (far more so than Britannia's two round trips to the Med a day and leisurely turnrounds). The last Britannia 737-200 of all, for example, carried on for 10 years afterwards with Ryanair.
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Old 17th Nov 2015, 20:45
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You beat me to it,WHBM.
I flew EI-CJG on 6 sectors on 21 OCT 05, which was right at the end of its working life with Ryanair.
First flew it in Sept 1981, as G-BGYK, when it was with Britannia, and very new.
I last flew it in Britannia in Jan 94, and it went to Ryanair shortly afterwards.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 06:31
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Which were then all sold on to Ryanair who didn't seem to have any difficulty with the costs or reliability of running them for on high-utilisation 10-sectors a day type operations that the aircraft had never seen before in its life (far more so than Britannia's two round trips to the Med a day and leisurely turnrounds). The last Britannia 737-200 of all, for example, carried on for 10 years afterwards with Ryanair.


Well, what do I know??!...ah yes!....I worked on them for many years Following, the Aloha incident, the Boeing ageing fleet program was introduced. Some of the earlier aircraft in the fleet were basically re-built with multiple skin changes and other major structural work during increasingly prolonged maintenance checks.

The decision by Thomson/BAL to withdraw the 737-200 released some very well maintained aircraft onto the second hand market and I'm sure RYR didn't object to the high standards of BAL maintenance! In fact, its a testament to how long the aircraft continued to operate as you kindly illustrate!

I can also assure you that for many years in the peak season the BAL 737-200's were doing more than two round trips to Med destinations per day with night-flying common!

Last edited by boeing_eng; 18th Nov 2015 at 07:06.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 12:58
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How is it possible to so thoroughly misread or misunderstand such a simple post?

Why do so many people slag off Branson ??
Has anyone slagged off Branson here? I certainly didn't, merely made a neutrally worded factual observation.

I wish I was as unsuccessful.
Do you really think Branson is unsuccessful? How odd, most people think he's one of UK's most spectacular businessmen. But then you only need one or two successes amongst dozens of failures to be successful overall. All that shows is that he doesn't have the infallible midas touch that many people assign to him.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 13:45
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Just a little reminder that this thread that I started should be a pleasant place to visit and to reminisce, tell stories and ask questions and nothing else.

Over 1000 posts have followed this formula so lets get back on track.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 15:15
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Originally Posted by LTNman
Just a little reminder that this thread that I started should be a pleasant place to visit and to reminisce, tell stories and ask questions and nothing else.

Over 1000 posts have followed this formula so lets get back on track.
Absolutely - this is the thread I look forward to seeing updates on, more than any other in AH&N!

I would really like to see similar threads started, and be supported so well for other UK airports, such BHX, EMA, LPL, NCL, GLA (Abbotsinch and Renfrew) etc. etc. Sadly my log books from the "good old days" disappeared when I moved away from my parents many years ago so I'm not best placed to contribute that much.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 16:17
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Hear Hear!
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 17:24
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Looks like the north west corner is under construction in this 1968 fuzzy photo. The old McAlpine hangar on the bottom right has only just been knocked down.


photographer unknown

Last edited by LTNman; 18th Nov 2015 at 17:37.
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