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JAT (Yugoslav Airlines) Boeing 707s

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JAT (Yugoslav Airlines) Boeing 707s

Old 7th Sep 2016, 20:31
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JAT (Yugoslav Airlines) Boeing 707s

Thankyou to all who contributed to the Britannia 707 thread.

In the summer of 1985, JAT (using Air Yugoslavia flight numbers - JR) operated a weekly series of
return flights from Pula to Leeds Bradford using a Boeing 707. At the time it struck me that the 707 was a peculiar choice of aircraft for a relatively short flight. I have since been informed on good authority that the 727 was originally timetabled for this particular service but it turned out to be a 707 on every rotation. Incidentally, it was always the ex-Northwest Orient aircraft, YU-AGI and AGJ that did the honours, alternating week by week.

Did any other UK airports see the JAT 707s on Yugotours charter flights, or was this another LBA nuance ?

Thankyou.
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Old 7th Sep 2016, 21:32
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yes i am sure other yugotours flights were operated by JAT 707's

often seen at LGW and MAN

yugotours also used inex adria DC9
aviogenex TU134
and JAT 727's and DC9's
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Old 7th Sep 2016, 21:36
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The B707s flew into Glasgow as well. There is a colour photo of one (YU-AGJ) at Abbotsinch in the book "Glasgow's Airports: Renfrew & Abbotsinch" published by the History Press

Last edited by KeMac; 7th Sep 2016 at 21:39. Reason: Spelling
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Old 7th Sep 2016, 23:02
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British Airtours used their 707s on very short sectors, I remember they used to do Gatwick to Gerona in the mid 70s.
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 00:56
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We had them at Newcastle as well. Those were the days!
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 08:02
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Obviously not just a Leeds Bradford thing then. On reflection, we only saw JAT 707s at LBA for one season, thereafter being supplanted by the 727 on the Pula flights. By this time JAT had a few new 737-300s, thereby releasing a few DC9s and 727s for the Yugotours work and perhaps relegating the 707s further !

At the time I thought the 707s were a pair of old bangers, apart from being proper old aeroplanes. Yet they were only about twenty years old when they passed through LBA. Now Jet2 has at least one thirty year-old 737 in its fleet !
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 10:01
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JAT initially bought the 707s for their long-haul services to the USA etc. They never bought a new one, but started off with former Pan Am turbojet-powered 707-320s, then moved on to fan-powered ones as they came onto the market. In 1978-9 they started on a DC-10 fleet for these mainstream flights and the 707s, probably pretty much at residual value by then, got used on a range of charters, to various UK/German/Scandinavian points, and were also leased out off-season a bit longer term. They turned up on the Hadj from time to time, of course.

Yugotours were a UK tour operator but owned behind the scenes from Yugoslavia. Most years they only used Yugoslavian airlines, from a wide range of UK points to a mix of Dalmatian coast points. They were notable that they only appeared to operate UK flights on Saturday/Sunday, and no night flights, which must have given them a significant advantage in the holiday market, so presumably their chartered aircraft didn't rack up many hours, and the 707s fuel burn wasn't that important in overall costings. I recall seeing three Aviogenex Tu134s lined up abreast at Manchester on August Saturday mornings. That was probably an even less economical aircraft per passenger seat than the 707. Their pilots were a contrast to the rest of those down on the ramp, especially 30 years ago, in not wearing ties !

Apparently 707 YU-AGJ, one of the JAT ex-Northwest 707 pair, which was sold onwards in Africa, still languishes in the weeds at Kinshasa. Possibly one of these https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@-4.38.../data=!3m1!1e3
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 10:57
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Terrific aeroplane. Thanks for your input WHBM - I knew you would have something to contribute.

LBA was a relatively late entrant to the Yugoslavia holiday market, given that it didn't have a sufficiently long runway for the Adria/Aviogenex/JAT fleets until 1985. Prior to then, Britannia operated a series of Saturday morning Pula flights using a Transavia 737 during the summer of 1983. Thereafter Yugotours settled in, initially just using JAT but eventually Adria (Tarom 1-11) and Aviogenex joined the fray too.

It was quite exciting to see a 707 at LBA for the first time, as well as unexpected. I'd seen plenty of them at Manchester but it was the first 'plus-size' Boeing to use LBA regularly until the Britannia 767, so it was quite something.
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 11:36
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Yugoslavia was a mixture of central socialism and free market, which often seemed to consist of multiple state agencies competing with one another. This is what happened with their airlines.

JAT was the official state airline, and the separate Air Jugoslavia was their charter arm but only on the commercial side; operationally they just used JAT aircraft although with different flight number prefixes.

Aviogenex was a subsidiary of the state-owned General Export Agency (hence the name), who favoured Tupolev 134s as a cross-arrangement for the substantial amount of agricultural produce they also exported to the Soviet Union.

Inex-Adria, as it was known at the time, was part of InterExport, yet another state agency charged with managing Imports and Exports (again hence the name), with a mainly DC9 fleet.

Tourism was a principal foreign currency earner, what these businesses were about, and they also had access to foreign currency funds for aircraft purchases needed to support this.
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 13:28
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Worked as a dispatcher at MAN in summer 1986, and handled all the Yugoslav airlines - Aviogenex Tu134s, JAT 727s, DC9s and at least 1 707; and Inex Adria DC9s and MD80s.

The crews always used to dive into the terminal to do some shopping as soon as they could on arrival. On one memorable occasion I had to put calls out for them to return urgently as I was 10 mins past STD, and had a JAT 727 full of pax, but just the most junior hosty on board! The baggage handlers needed to leave, and as it was they who moved the steps in those days by the time the crew got back they had to use the built in rear steps. Something of a walk of shame back to the cockpit for the flight deck folk!
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 14:21
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Yugotours also did a number of charters from manston in Kent operated by Aviogenex 737 also did see an inex Dc9 this must have been around 93/94 THis was the same time spanish airline VIva air operated there 737s from there under cosmos holidays
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 15:19
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Re: 707s on IT flights - BMA used them extensively circa 1982-3 to the usual Med and Canaries destinations.

211 seats due to all-Y config and a galley taken out.

I don't know what the economics were, but there was one dedicated reservations agent at Castle Don. who spent his time dealing with schedule changes, calling the trade and private passengers to tell them the flight times had been changed, sometimes significantly. I guess that the intention was to chop any weak rotations and keep the load factors way up by smart utilization.

With typical astuteness, Midland got out of this market when seat prices fell, and the "Boeings" (as we called them) were redeployed on ABC Canadian charters.
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 16:36
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It's sad to think that YU-AGJ may have come to such an undignified end. That aeroplane and its sister ship, AGI, must have given years of faithful service to JAT and NW Orient before. I don't know how the pair fared for technical reliability but I don't remember any significant delays on the PUY-LBA-PUY rotations. Having said that, my ex-boss had frequent contact with them both and has told tales of absent engine fan blades and unserviceable APUs (provided they had APUs in the first place) !
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 17:11
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JAT used Boeing 727s and 707s into EMA on Sunday mornings in the 1980s.
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 17:13
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spent his time dealing with schedule changes, calling the trade and private passengers to tell them the flight times had been changed, sometimes significantly. I guess that the intention was to chop any weak rotations and keep the load factors way up by smart utilization.
This was how charter operators worked in those days. Not only consolidating loads in the shoulder season to keep any flying seats sat on, but also mixing it with late charter opportunities, in particular chances of subcharters to other operators where needed, firing off to do such a sudden lucrative operation and then coming back maybe hours late for previously planned work.

"Hello, um, we're AOG at Malaga awaiting an engine change with 150 return pax in the terminal. You don't have nearby by any chance ..." "Oh YES we do ... where did you say it was ?"

The worst were the US transatlantic charter companies, who by the 1970s-80s had mainly moved on to Stretched DC8s. They would take commercial arrangements, but their base load was US military charters to Germany etc, which inevitably would often get switched around at the last moment. This was a lot of unbalanced work and the commercial charters, having positioned back from Frankfurt to Gatwick or wherever, were a way of getting loads both ways. Actually changing the day, even for return flights of a US charter group back home, were not unknown. It was generally palmed off as "technical issue needed for safety" rather than "commercial department got another opportunity".
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 08:03
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Air Atlantis (TAP subsidiary) was another airline that used 707's on relatively short flights incl NCL to FAO in 86.

Never saw a JAT 707 but did fly on their 737-300's in the late 80's to DBV. Apart from the JR pre-fix the only sight/mention of Air Yugoslavia was coming home at DBV where the indicator boards showed this name instead of JAT. At the time this was the most modern aircraft that I'd been on and the first with TV's on board. The entertainment was however limited to a promotional film and song about Belgrade which was on a constant loop for 3 hours each way!

Perhaps because it was a Saturday, the crew were taking in easy. The safety demonstration video has just started as we lined up for take off at DBV, it was then abruptly stopped and resumed once in the air (legal?) as soon as in the air the crew started smoking while still in their seats (with numerous ciggy breaks following!) and while we assumed that the captain had initially made a mistake saying we were going to GLA it turned out as we flew over NCL at 30,000ft he actually thought we were! Either he realised or ATC pointed out where we were supposed to be going but a very rapid decent followed! Not very slick but it made it memorable as did the man who walked from the back of the plane with a tool box shortly after leaving DBV and then performed some "in flight maintainaence" while in the air with the cockpit door open!
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 08:44
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as an aside i flew LGW-DBV-LGW
2 weeks hols in AUG 1972
should have been a BCAL 1-11 500 but BCAL just pranged G-AWYS at CFU in a RTO overrun and they were short of lift

outbound from LGW we had a Northeast Trident and coming home the famous Wardair
727!

flew inex adria dc9's and super 80 plus TU-134 of Aviogenex

Aviogenex lost a 134 on landing in a Yugotours nasty firey crash at Rijeka KRK in 1971/72 coming from LGW one evening
big TS activity and the crew lost sight of the runway on short final with heavy rain and windshear and did a hard landing which flipped the 134 over upside-down and it slid on its roof on fire
all UK pax 72 died in the fire as they were trapped inside due blocked exits as the wing turned in on itself blocking the exits windows and pax were still strapped upside down in their seats. cabin crew could not open the fwd doors due distortion and also died

only the flight deck crew got out as the nose snapped off and the only pax to survive was a local yugotours rep sitting at the back and he got out through the rear baggage hold

soon after 134's had larger over wing exits installed but not sure if this was due to this accident http://www.planes-international.com/MAN-HS-AG-TU3-1.jpg
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Old 12th Sep 2016, 00:34
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coming home the famous Wardair 727!
I went in this a few years earlier, on its more normal routing of LGW - Sondrestrom (Greenland) - Vancouver. I wonder if the return flight to Canada the day of your Dubrovnik trip was delayed so they could stick in a quick subcharter. It was for some years a summer regular at Gatwick, and less frequently at Manchester or Prestwick. In the winter it used to live on Vancouver to Honolulu or Acapulco.
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Old 12th Sep 2016, 14:38
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True, WHBM, and also i think wardair was registered with a charter broker pool like many airlines who had spare downtime for possible upcoming ad-hoc jobs - chances are this was planned as the BCAL CFU RTO incident was in July and my flights were in mid Aug of 1972.

G-AWYS Corfu 2

our outbound LGW-DBV 2 weeks before was a Northeast trident so its obvious this DBV rotation was subbed out weekly for much of the high season

was not a Yugotours flight but a Horizon Holidays flight

the WD 727 was a LGW regular from 1966-1973 when she was sold abroad to Sth America

she was a beauty - glad you enjoyed her too
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Old 21st Sep 2016, 13:47
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Speaking of Eastern European old bangers, do Bulgarian TU154s still turn up in the UK ? Two or three decades ago these were a common site on Saturdays and Sundays from Aberdeen to Bristol, usually flying to Varna or Bourgas. Initially, at LBA, they were operated by Balkan Bulgarian Airlines, then Air VIA and finally Balkan Holidays Air. Threadbare tyres and baggage holds that reeked of cattle's business. But built like tanks.

I think Tarom did a few Black Sea charters with their Tupolevs as well, plus the Ilyushin IL18 Constanza trips.
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