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Air UK Heralds and routes

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Air UK Heralds and routes

Old 8th Jan 2019, 20:35
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Air UK Heralds and routes

Which routes did the Herald fleet operate following the BIA merger with Air Anglia ? I remember historically there was something of a western bias with BIA, meaning their Heralds were often to be seen at the likes of Glasgow, Ronaldsway and Exeter. They used to fly between Leeds Bradford and Ronaldsway in the BIA days and in the early days of Air UK. Thereafter, one of them was based at LBA in the winter 1984/85 season, operating purely on the Belfast Aldergrove route. LBA had hitherto been a Friendship base and the Herald only stayed for one season. I think they were on the point of being completely withdrawn from use by then.

Thankyou.
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Old 8th Jan 2019, 21:57
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They occasionally appeared at Teesside in the 80s possibly on the Norwich route, a long time ago!
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Old 8th Jan 2019, 22:25
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Our usual historic friend Airlinetimetables does not have anything for AirUK, or predecessor BIA.

The Heralds gravitated from the BIA routes, which had been based on their British United predecessor, based at Ronaldsway and Jersey, and to an extent at Exeter, Southampton and Belfast as well. The former Air Anglia routes meanwhile were up/down the east coast, via the various points between Norwich and Aberdeen, with several of these connected to Amsterdam as well. Air Anglia brought F27s to the party, where BIA brought a dozen Heralds. The concept of a network was less prevalent then, you just looked up in the travel agents' ABC Guide where you wanted to go, and who was the operator. It could be either of the two founders, and Dan-Air had an even more oddball collection of disconnected 748 routes, described quite accurately once as the "crumbs from the table" of the BA network.

Almost immediately, AirUK took over the BAF Herald opperations to the Continent from Southend as well, on the commercial side, but subcontracted back to BAF Heralds for the actual operation. They also commonly subchartered Heralds from BAF to cover thier own routes as well.

AirUK standardised on the F27, theit last Herald appears to have run at the end of 1985, including the one now preserved at Duxford in their colours. AirUK used to help Duxford out quite a bit at that time, they would send an F27 down from Norwich to plug a hole in an airshow programme, and when they started the F27 network up from Stansted in the early 1908s (pre-new terminal) represented themselves as the airline of East Anglia.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 07:25
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I suppose the likelihood is that, after the merger, the Heralds largely remained on the old BIA routes, albeit in decreasing numbers. I seem to recall the UK was in recession in early 1980 so it may have been an opportune time to shed some routes and some aircraft. The F28s hardly started and the 1-11s were on charter business elsewhere on the network. Was there a long term plan to phase out the Heralds from the beginning, I wonder ? They were in the same class as the F27 and shared the same engines and big oval windows but not, overall, as successful as the F27.

I quite liked seeing the Air UK Herald based at LBA during 1984/85 although I'm curious as to why it appeared in the first place and why it only operated the Belfast route. More often than not it seemed to get a visual approach when coming back from Belfast. That's what I remember anyway.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 08:35
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There always used to be several BIA Heralds parked beyond the GA terminal at Gatwick in the 1970s, alongside Dan-Air HS-748s, did they have a base there also? I remember bits of one in a hangar at Eastleigh, think it had pranged on Jersey.

I liked the old scheme with the red fin... memories, eh?
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 14:47
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BIA Heralds at Gatwick were a further hangover from British United days, I don't have any timetable but recall that the "Silver Arrow" service from Gatwick to Le Touquet was handed across from BUA to continue operation, with Heralds, for a while. It had train connections from Gatwick to London (the regular service) and from Le Touquet to Paris, a special train service for which a branch line was laid in the 1960s right into the airport, and across the apron, with the small diesel train used standing next to the Herald.

The last time I took G-WHBM into Le Touquet a few years ago the tracks were still there embedded in the asphalt. Tjhe railway signals no longer showed any lights but were still physically there, rusting. I commented on all this as we bounced over it, but there was general non-comprehension ... if my navigation is any good (no comments please) Le Touquet is actually closer to London than it is to Paris, so the French train was the longest leg. Looking at Google Earth, the tracks are indeed still there now.

I think the Gatwick BIA Heralds also operated to Jersey on low demand services, as they had previously done, on subcharter to B. Cal.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 18:41
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
BIA Heralds at Gatwick were a further hangover from British United days, I don't have any timetable but recall that the "Silver Arrow" service from Gatwick to Le Touquet was handed across from BUA to continue operation, with Heralds, for a while. It had train connections from Gatwick to London (the regular service) and from Le Touquet to Paris, a special train service for which a branch line was laid in the 1960s right into the airport, and across the apron, with the small diesel train used standing next to the Herald.

The last time I took G-WHBM into Le Touquet a few years ago the tracks were still there embedded in the asphalt. Tjhe railway signals no longer showed any lights but were still physically there, rusting. I commented on all this as we bounced over it, but there was general non-comprehension ... if my navigation is any good (no comments please) Le Touquet is actually closer to London than it is to Paris, so the French train was the longest leg. Looking at Google Earth, the tracks are indeed still there now.

I think the Gatwick BIA Heralds also operated to Jersey on low demand services, as they had previously done, on subcharter to B. Cal.
I worked as a Movement Controller for BIA at Gatwick from 1973 until 1978. In that time the Heralds were based at Gatwick and Blackpool only. Crews were based at Gatwick, Southampton, Jersey (cabin crew only) and Blackpool. Movement Control was based at Gatwick with Operations Officers manning Ops rooms at Blackpool, Jersey and Southampton. Maintenance base was Blackpool. It is a long time ago now and I cannot remember how many Heralds were based at Gatwick. We certainly operated a Gatwick-Guernsey-Gatwick scheduled pax service, likewise Silver Arrow to Le Touquet. Basic pattern of Operation was daily departure in the wee small hours of two freighter services one LGW/JER the other LGW/GCI carrying newspapers and mail. On arrival in the Channel Islands seats would be fitted to the Heralds and they would then do a full day's pax flying on the network before returning to the Channel Islands in the evening where the seats would be removed and the aircraft loaded with flowers and vegetables for their return to LGW. We also operated a nightly newspaper service for Sabena LGW/BRU/LGW and a scheduled pax service Gatwick-Antwerp-Gatwick. I'm sure there were other schedules we operated from LGW and charters too but it's all a bit of a haze now, though I can with certainty say that we did not operate a pax service LGW/JER.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 19:24
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Well I'm glad Blackpool finally got a mention, OUA...
Whenever BIA/Air UK is discussed, poor old Blackpool is all too easily forgotten. As one of the aforementioned ops officers at the time, who moved to LGW when BLK was closed in 1981, I remember were flying to IOM, BFS, GCI and JER, prior to that. There were usually three aircraft based at BLK and it was the major maintenance base for the Herald. The aircraft were rotated to LGW via the Channel Islands. Good times at both BLK and LGW with excellent crews.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 20:23
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Thanks chaps - Mooncrest has a habit of airing excellent topics, ripe for a little diversion and able to tingle the "leetle grey cells"...
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 20:43
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Back in the day, BIA Heralds were in and out of Exeter all day long on services to Belfast, Dublin, Southampton and the Channel Islands. We young spotters would often log 8 or 9 different aircraft each day and each one would make a couple of rotations.
Once Air UK took over however, services were eventually drasticly slashed. So much so that, at the lowest ebb, there was just one weekly flight from and to the Channel Islands early on a Sunday morning with the F-27.
That encouraged the fledgling Jersey European to start services to Exeter with the Shorts 330 and Bandierante and the rest is history........
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 21:36
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
Thanks chaps - Mooncrest has a habit of airing excellent topics, ripe for a little diversion and able to tingle the "leetle grey cells"...
Always a pleasure, treadigraph. Civil aviation was more interesting in decades past, even at humble LBA. Nowadays it's dominated by Jet2.
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 02:33
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Think there was a trip under a BCAL callsign LGW-MAN which then carried on MAN-BPL for a day-stop. Certainly appears in an old logbook of mine.

Pretty sure it went on mtce during the day or was swapped for another Herald out of mtce. It then went back to MAN, early evening, for the southbound sector to LGW for BCAL.

Hooe Iíve got that right!

Happy daze!
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 08:22
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Originally Posted by Fokkerwokker View Post
Think there was a trip under a BCAL callsign LGW-MAN which then carried on MAN-BPL for a day-stop. Certainly appears in an old logbook of mine.

Pretty sure it went on mtce during the day or was swapped for another Herald out of mtce. It then went back to MAN, early evening, for the southbound sector to LGW for BCAL.

Hooe Iíve got that right!

Happy daze!
You are quite right FW. That's exactly as I remember it, except that on arrival at BLK (BPL is an airport in China), it would go on to BFS.
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 09:19
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Originally Posted by barry lloyd View Post
Well I'm glad Blackpool finally got a mention, OUA...
Whenever BIA/Air UK is discussed, poor old Blackpool is all too easily forgotten. As one of the aforementioned ops officers at the time, who moved to LGW when BLK was closed in 1981, I remember were flying to IOM, BFS, GCI and JER, prior to that. There were usually three aircraft based at BLK and it was the major maintenance base for the Herald. The aircraft were rotated to LGW via the Channel Islands. Good times at both BLK and LGW with excellent crews.
https://www.airukreunion.co.uk/tag/h...e-hpr7-herald/
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 10:58
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Am I dreaming or was there a Herald on the roof at LGW about 30 years ago?
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 12:20
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Originally Posted by ZFT View Post
Am I dreaming or was there a Herald on the roof at LGW about 30 years ago?
Go-around that went wrong.



https://www.lysanderassociates.com/2...ce-of-history/
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 12:40
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Some of my colleagues put it there - designed the structure on which it sat. Original plan was for an A300, then apparently a Convair 440 parked at Miami was proposed - I offered to represent the company on its delivery flight but the rotten sods decided on the Herald instead.


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Old 10th Jan 2019, 16:42
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That encouraged the fledgling Jersey European to start services to Exeter with the Shorts 330 and Bandierante and the rest is history........
For those who like their history fleshed out a little........

A BAA subsidiary, British Airports International, later Airports UK, took over management of EGTE from Airwork in April 1984. At that time Air UK ran a quite limited schedule to the Channel Islands, I think 2 rotations daily. Every flight had a wait-list of 10 or 20 people, it was heart-breaking to watch.
When Jack Walker sold his steel company to British Steel later in 1984, he bought 2 small struggling airlines, Spacegrand at Blackpool, and Jersey European Airways in the C.I. BAI went to see him in St Helier, and persuaded him to combine them and base them in Exeter. Part of the deal was that BAA, and Devon County Council (owners) would support the new airline Jersey European in its application to operate between Exeter and the Channel Islands. At the hearing in London, BAI provided evidence of lack of capacity vs demand, and of Air UK's reluctance to increase it, and JEA undertook to operate at least 4 daily rotations, 7 days a week. Air UK's passionate argument that this would simply replace one monopoly with another, because they would be forced to withdraw, fell on deaf ears. The Air UK team included one Jim French, at the time Air UK's Manager in Exeter, who presented a forecasting model to show that there was insufficient demand to support a 2nd carrier on the route. Unfortunately, Air UK had used a completely inappropriate forecasting model that anyone who had studied elementary transport demand forecasting in that era would recognise (it's about truck movements between 2 US cities) because it's in most textbooks on the subject. The CAA's economist in their team duly recognised it, shot the presentation down in flames, and a few days later the CAA gave JEA unlimited rights on the route.
JEA immediately published a schedule with 4 flights a day (I completely forget what with; F27?), and Air UK, rather then pulling out, matched it. So Exeter suddenly had 8 departures daily. It could not last and they eventually pulled out altogether.
The name Jersey European Airways was changed to British European Airways since there was no base in jersey, and this shortly became Flybe.

Last edited by old,not bold; 10th Jan 2019 at 19:46.
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 16:58
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Originally Posted by old,not bold View Post
The name Jersey European Airways was changed to British European Airways since there was no base in Jersey, and this shortly became Flybe.
I think you mean British European Airlines. No red square involved.
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 18:22
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I'm sure you're right, it was all a long time ago!
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