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The creation of Air UK. Why did it happen ?

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The creation of Air UK. Why did it happen ?

Old 15th Mar 2020, 04:27
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by L66MBD View Post
Where did Air UK Leisure (if at all) fit in to you Air UK later?
In June 1987 Air UK announced that it would start a new charter airline to be based at London Stansted Airport which would start operating in 1988 with two leased Boeing 737-200 aircraft.

The company Air UK (Leisure) Limited was formed in 1987 with Air UK providing 30% of the 2.5 million capital, B&C Holding (the parent company of Air UK) 30% with the rest from the travel group Viking International.

Air UK Leisure started operations in 1988 with two leased Boeing 737-200's and the airline placed orders for four new Boeing 737-400's from a leasing company for delivery in October 1988.

The first flight was from London Stansted Airport to Faro in Portugal in April 1988. Air UK Leisure became the first operator of the Boeing 737-400 in Europe with the first delivery on the 14 October 1988.

Air UK Leisure went on to operate seven Boeing 737-400's on charter flights with base's at London Gatwick Airport, London Stansted Airport and Manchester Airport.

In 1993 Air UK Leisure introduced two leased Boeing 767-300's flying on behalf of the British tour operator Unijet.

In 1996 Air UK Leisure was sold to the tour operator Unijet and was renamed Leisure International Airways and moved it's main base from London Stansted Airport to London Gatwick Airport.

On the 29 March 1996 Leisure International Airways introduced the first of three Airbus A320's into service intended to replace the Boeing 737-400's.

In 1998 First Choice acquired the airline when it took over Unijet. The airline and operations were taken over by the First Choice in-house airline Air 2000.

Last edited by Sotonsean; 15th Mar 2020 at 04:33. Reason: Content
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Old 15th Mar 2020, 08:10
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Sotonsean -
Wow what a complement - thanks

I started my aviation career in 1971 with Air Spain (JA) and Vistajet Holidays who were JA's biggest UK charter client.
It all went on from there Court Line, Horizon, Gibair, Northeast, BCAL, BMA, Monarch, B/Airtours (KT) Ogden's, AE, Virgin plus few more unmentionables along the way LOL.

My best pal worked for Britannia 1981-1993 as No.1 CC at LTN then LGW.
Some of my friends from those times still fly as CC for BA on worldwide fleet or are still on the ground at LHR for various airlines.
I have many pals at Virgin.
Another great pal is at Air Canada LHR Concierge and is their oldest employee AFAIK Worldwide (He's 78 next week)
He joined BEA in 1959 then went to TWA during the LHR heyday years - He is in Concierge so he met all of the glamorous VIP's back in the day.
Not quite the same today lol.

I loved my job and met some super folk who I am still good friends with today. I enjoy PPRuNe since 2008.
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Old 15th Mar 2020, 11:22
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
Sotonsean -
Wow what a complement - thanks

I started my aviation career in 1971 with Air Spain (JA) and Vistajet Holidays who were JA's biggest UK charter client.
It all went on from there Court Line, Horizon, Gibair, Northeast, BCAL, BMA, Monarch, B/Airtours (KT) Ogden's, AE, Virgin plus few more unmentionables along the way LOL.

My best pal worked for Britannia 1981-1993 as No.1 CC at LTN then LGW.
Some of my friends from those times still fly as CC for BA on worldwide fleet or are still on the ground at LHR for various airlines.
I have many pals at Virgin.
Another great pal is at Air Canada LHR Concierge and is their oldest employee AFAIK Worldwide (He's 78 next week)
He joined BEA in 1959 then went to TWA during the LHR heyday years - He is in Concierge so he met all of the glamorous VIP's back in the day.
Not quite the same today lol.

I loved my job and met some super folk who I am still good friends with today. I enjoy PPRuNe since 2008.
Hi Rog

Well the compliment is well deserved ☺️

Although I have only recently joined PPRuNe I have been reading the forum's for many years now but I felt compelled to join after reading the Pan Am at London Gatwick thread and noticed that someone was obviously making some mistakes in his posts and know once was rectifying them 😉

You've certainly had a varied career with many airline's, all of them I'm familiar with some I've flown with?

I never saw any Air Spain aircraft but obviously I'm aware of them. The airline's colour scheme looked great on their DC 8's. Joining them in 1971 the airline were still operating the Britannia's, I think that the DC7's had gone by then.

On the other hand I remember Court Line very well but never got the opportunity to see either of their Tristars. I absolutely loved their livery, very modern for it's time and it was a bad day in aviation when Clarkson Holiday's went under and the inevitable collapse of Court Line.

Not long after the airline's collapse in 1974 my father took me on a sightseeing trip on a BIA Herald from Southampton Airport that took us over the Isle of Wight and a low level fly past over Bournemouth Airport with a collection of Court Line BAC 1-11's parked up outside the BAC Hanger's.

It's great to know that your friend is still involved in the airline industry and working as a concierge for Air Canada at 78yo. There used to be a great character in a similar position of a similar age that used to work for British Airways and before that BCAL at LGW that I used to speak to. Last time I saw him was eight years ago so he's long retired.

When you mentioned in one of your other posts about your flight on a Channel Airways Trident 1E, my second ever flight was on a Northeast Trident 1E from LHR to Palma in 1974. Operating as British Airways but still in the Northeast livery and the flight attendants still in Northeast uniform. As a family we were late boarding and the last on board I vividly remember everyone clapping much to my mother's embarrassment.

I never had the opportunity to fly with BCAL but they are without doubt my all time favourite airline and even though it's been 32 years since the takeover by British Airways I still miss them. London Gatwick Airport never seemed the same after their demise, it just didn't feel the same without seeing that beautiful livery along the piers.

I've just had a thought for two possible threads for the history and nostalgia forum.

The history of British Caledonian the second force airline.

And

Autair to Court Line to it's collapse.

What do you think?
​​​​
It's always good to read your posts and your contributions to PPRuNe.

Last edited by Sotonsean; 16th Mar 2020 at 10:23.
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Old 15th Mar 2020, 18:43
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sotonsean View Post
In June 1987 Air UK announced that it would start a new charter airline to be based at London Stansted Airport which would start operating in 1988 with two leased Boeing 737-200 aircraft.

The company Air UK (Leisure) Limited was formed in 1987 with Air UK providing 30% of the 2.5 million capital, B&C Holding (the parent company of Air UK) 30% with the rest from the travel group Viking International.

Air UK Leisure started operations in 1988 with two leased Boeing 737-200's and the airline placed orders for four new Boeing 737-400's from a leasing company for delivery in October 1988.

The first flight was from London Stansted Airport to Faro in Portugal in April 1988. Air UK Leisure became the first operator of the Boeing 737-400 in Europe with the first delivery on the 14 October 1988.

Air UK Leisure went on to operate seven Boeing 737-400's on charter flights with base's at London Gatwick Airport, London Stansted Airport and Manchester Airport.

In 1993 Air UK Leisure introduced two leased Boeing 767-300's flying on behalf of the British tour operator Unijet.

In 1996 Air UK Leisure was sold to the tour operator Unijet and was renamed Leisure International Airways and moved it's main base from London Stansted Airport to London Gatwick Airport.

On the 29 March 1996 Leisure International Airways introduced the first of three Airbus A320's into service intended to replace the Boeing 737-400's.

In 1998 First Choice acquired the airline when it took over Unijet. The airline and operations were taken over by the First Choice in-house airline Air 2000.
Thank you!
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 14:27
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Mooncrest View Post
It's just over forty years ago that Air UK was formed, through the merger of British Island Airways and Air Anglia, plus Air Wales and Air West. Something I have never learned in all these years is what the specific motivation(s) was for the merger in the first place. I know nothing of the two smaller players, but BIA and Air Anglia shared some parallels, e.g. medium-size propellor fleet mainstay (Herald and F27), recent introduction of jets (1-11 and F28) and also the recent introduction of the Embraer Bandeirante. Perhaps these were significant factors. I remember reading in the final Air Anglia timetable that both airlines were owned by the British and Commonwealth Shipping Group, yet I know this has been disputed on this site, with mention of the Cayzer family, Norwich Union and Reckitt and Colman being cited as at least part-owners of one or the other ! I honestly don't know but I hope somebody else does.

Thankyou.
As a kid in the 70s I remember see a TV advert of Air UK " Take the Blue Plane" it said.
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 14:31
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops View Post

Southampton 1984. Photo credit Barry Friend.


https://www.airukreunion.co.uk/g-apw...herald-flight/
nice photo...I only flew Air UK a very few times. STN-SOU-STN, STN-GCI-STN and MME-HUY .
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 14:45
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sotonsean View Post
The history of British Caledonian the second force airline.
This would certainly be an interesting thread, but may I also recommend Dave Thaxter's website about everything BCal: BCal British Caledonian
He also produced a lovely book about the airline, available from his site.
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 16:06
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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For the story behind BCAL you can't beat the man in the middle of it all:-

Amazon Amazon
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Old 18th Mar 2020, 08:35
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
This would certainly be an interesting thread, but may I also recommend Dave Thaxter's website about everything BCal: BCal British Caledonian
He also produced a lovely book about the airline, available from his site.
That book is fantastic and it's proudly in my collection.

There is an excellent interview on YouTube with the late Sir Adam Thompson from Radio 4 explaining the history of BCAL right up to it's take over by British Airways in August 1988. I can't link to it right now but it's extremely interesting to listen to. He was a pure honest gentleman and in the interview you can clearly hear his sadness when he's explaining and recollecting the story.


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Old 18th Mar 2020, 08:52
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BACsuperVC10 View Post
nice photo...I only flew Air UK a very few times. STN-SOU-STN, STN-GCI-STN and MME-HUY .
​​​​​This excellent excellent photo is on the Air UK reunion website at www.airukreunion.co.uk along with the excellent website www.british-caledonian.com

Both site's have some excellent photos and hoards of information regarding both airlines for those who are interested.

Barry Field who took the above photo of the collection of Dart Herald's on the apron at Southampton Airport also has a huge collection of similar photos from that era posted on www.air-britain.com.

Many of his collection of photos are also posted on the two other websites I have listed.

I thoroughly recommend all three websites if anyone hasn't already seen them. But we are all aviation enthusiast's and we all share an interest in aviation nostalgia so I am hoping that ALL of you are already aware of the websites.

I would be honestly shocked if none of you weren't 😉

Many similar photos are to be seen in Flickr which is an absolute gold mine for avation photos especially from a bygone era. You could spend hours, days, months, years on Flickr viewing the excellent photos and you still see some that you have never come across before.

Obviously it goes without saying that I thoroughly recommend Flickr 🤗

When I get round to it I think that I will create that thread here on history and nostalgia regarding the history of British Caledonian Airways the second force airline.

I am sure that it will make for an extremely interesting thread 🤗

Last edited by Sotonsean; 18th Mar 2020 at 09:03.
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Old 18th Mar 2020, 09:00
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BACsuperVC10 View Post
As a kid in the 70s I remember see a TV advert of Air UK " Take the Blue Plane" it said.
Sorry to shatter your childhood memories but Air UK was not formed until early 1980 so that TV advert that your recollecting wasn't from the 1970's.
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Old 18th Mar 2020, 13:49
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sotonsean View Post
Sorry to shatter your childhood memories but Air UK was not formed until early 1980 so that TV advert that your recollecting wasn't from the 1970's.
Buit I do recall an advert, from whatever era, of take the blue plane ... Maybe why all the ground servicing vehicles kept pranging into them, because they couldn't see them in the dark!
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Old 18th Mar 2020, 14:24
  #53 (permalink)  

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The advert certainly existed, just not in the seventies. Likewise the "You're closer to home" featuring a man sitting in an armchair with his cat on his lap. (fly from your local airport). Going further back, the Air Anglia "Britain's Right Hand Man", based on the fact that most Air Anglia routes served the eastern coast. (if you can call LBA "eastern coast")
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Old 18th Mar 2020, 15:02
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sotonsean View Post
​​​​​This excellent excellent photo is on the Air UK reunion website at www.airukreunion.co.uk along with the excellent website www.british-caledonian.com

Both site's have some excellent photos and hoards of information regarding both airlines for those who are interested.

Barry Field who took the above photo of the collection of Dart Herald's on the apron at Southampton Airport also has a huge collection of similar photos from that era posted on www.air-britain.com.

Many of his collection of photos are also posted on the two other websites I have listed.

I thoroughly recommend all three websites if anyone hasn't already seen them. But we are all aviation enthusiast's and we all share an interest in aviation nostalgia so I am hoping that ALL of you are already aware of the websites.

I would be honestly shocked if none of you weren't 😉

Many similar photos are to be seen in Flickr which is an absolute gold mine for avation photos especially from a bygone era. You could spend hours, days, months, years on Flickr viewing the excellent photos and you still see some that you have never come across before.

Obviously it goes without saying that I thoroughly recommend Flickr 🤗

When I get round to it I think that I will create that thread here on history and nostalgia regarding the history of British Caledonian Airways the second force airline.

I am sure that it will make for an extremely interesting thread 🤗
The name is Barry Friend not Field and he worked in the Traffic Department at Southampton for BIA , Air UK and quite possibly for BUIA too. He was and probably still is a Top Man and had a wonderful way of reducing passenger back-logs to the Channel Islands after a weekend of CI Fog, thus saving a wasted rotation.

Last edited by OUAQUKGF Ops; 18th Mar 2020 at 16:46.
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Old 18th Mar 2020, 23:47
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops View Post
The name is Barry Friend not Field and he worked in the Traffic Department at Southampton for BIA , Air UK and quite possibly for BUIA too. He was and probably still is a Top Man and had a wonderful way of reducing passenger back-logs to the Channel Islands after a weekend of CI Fog, thus saving a wasted rotation.
I remember Barry, not so long after I left AUK I had a call from my ex workmates in Ops, they subbed-in one of our B737-300's for a SOU/JER/SOU rotation.

Of a summer weekend it seemed like most of the AUK fleet would be heading towards the CI from all points north and south, then LATCC introduced flow control except from south coast airfields which included SOU and with all our flights routing via the SAM beacon, in those days we would apply for slots by phone, listening to a ringing tone for a maximum of 2 hours before the call would be disconnected and we try again etc.

It soon became ridiculous, hour after hour after hour went by with still no answer from the flow regulator, pretty much an entire fleet grounded and handling agents dealing with disgruntled pax, that was when I re-flight planned all flights destination SOU with JER/GCI as alternates briefing the crews to divert once overhead SOU and worst case scenario land at SOU, taxi around, and take-off again..

The LATCC civil supervisor accused us of cheating, we told him that we wouldn't need to cheat if his regulator would answer the phone, ah "but he's busy" he exclaimed, yes, "so are we" we replied, I think we shook flow control up a bit because things improved thereafter with phone calls getting answered.
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Old 31st Aug 2021, 19:44
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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I've enjoyed reading through this forum - as I did the Air UK Herald forum yesterday, I added a few pics from a GCI Airport F/Book page to that & have borrowed a few to bring back some more memories here too.
Credit for the images to the photographers.
















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Old 31st Aug 2021, 20:40
  #57 (permalink)  

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Thanks Jerbourg. You've made an old man's evening. I've flown most of the F27s, 146s and the F100 you have there. First flight, F27 3rd Feb '79, last flight B737 29th Mar 2003 24 happy years
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