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Spanish charter airlines

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Spanish charter airlines

Old 15th Apr 2020, 13:11
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Spanish charter airlines

Covid and lockdown has brought some interesting threads from a happier time when Orion had a300’s, IEA were around and Aviogenex were still flying!

in 1987, flight international ran a feature “Spanish charters go up market” focusing on how air europa, Hispania etc were changing The Spanish market. Previously it had been dominated by Iberia and Aviaco who by all accounts were ropey at best but UK tour operators had contract Spanish carriers for a certain proportion of their flying I think.

did anyone have any experience these airlines at their worst / best and in particular obscure ones such as universair and nortjet.

My first flight was on a transeuropa caravelle but can’t remember anything about it.
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 13:36
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Did you have the Spandex experience ? Coronados smoking away, and that was just the passengers inside ;-)

I flew on the DC-9 and DC-8 aircraft, but both flights were flights for Iberia due to AOG somewhere. I also remember seeing the DC-10 at LHR doing a flight for Viasa sometime in the late70's/early 80's.
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 13:45
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[QUOTE=SpringHeeledJack;10750819]Did you have the Spandex experience ? Coronados smoking away, and that was just the passengers inside ;-)

Ha ha. My dad’s friends flew to TFS from
Ncl on an Aviaco DC9 and the flight report was that the crew spent the whole flight behind the curtain smoking!
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 13:58
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Never flew on any of them, but how's this:

Not long before Spantax failed, I was on the ground at Las Palmas, about to board when an "Airfield Emergency" was called. A Spantax Coronado was about land with its left main gear retracted. The aeroplane duly appeared and landed on 21L The landing was textbook. Wing held off for as long as possible, then carefully put down. Minimal damage I believe and as we taxied out for departure, you could see the aeroplane was slap bang on the centreline, about 10-15 degrees off the runway heading. Calmly and professionally handled, left me with a high impression of their operation.
I believe the aeroplane was repaired and went back into service, probably only a few weeks before they stopped flying.
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 14:12
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I've never flown on any of them but I do remember. The earlier ones such as Air Spain and Transeuropa didn't use Leeds Bradford but, after the runway extension opened in 1984, they began to appear. Aviaco, Iberia, Futura, Universair, Oasis, Hispania, Viva, Spanair, Spantax, Iberworld, Volar, LTE Espana. And Air Europa, which is still with us! In the UK at least, such airlines were more often seen at the smaller airports operating flights for Thomson Holidays, Intasun and so on where the likes of Britannia, Air Europe and Monarch didn't have a base.
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 14:56
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Never flew with Spantax but I did fly from Zurich to Heathrow on a Swissair Coronado - I recall "Coronado" on the fin and telling mum "we're going on Concorde!". The Coronado probably eventually passed to Spantax and my reading skills improved a little...

They certainly were dirty birds weren't they?
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 15:09
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They certainly were dirty birds weren't they?
Dirty and quick ;-)
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 15:32
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack View Post
Dirty and quick ;-)
Seemingly according to Wikipedia only 37 built...
That is why I guess I have only vaguely heard of them!
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 15:41
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Originally Posted by flash8 View Post
Seemingly according to Wikipedia only 37 built...
That is why I guess I have only vaguely heard of them!

there’s still one at Palma I believe. There are Attempts to restore it to its Spantax glory days I think (albeit non-flying)
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 15:44
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Originally Posted by BSD View Post
Never flew on any of them, but how's this:

Not long before Spantax failed, I was on the ground at Las Palmas, about to board when an "Airfield Emergency" was called. A Spantax Coronado was about land with its left main gear retracted. The aeroplane duly appeared and landed on 21L The landing was textbook. Wing held off for as long as possible, then carefully put down. Minimal damage I believe and as we taxied out for departure, you could see the aeroplane was slap bang on the centreline, about 10-15 degrees off the runway heading. Calmly and professionally handled, left me with a high impression of their operation.
I believe the aeroplane was repaired and went back into service, probably only a few weeks before they stopped flying.
Great story! I seem to remember that Spantax tried to roster the same crew together for as many flights as possible. Kind of a “military” way of doing things. Can anyone confirm?
Not to say that that had any bearing on the outcome of this incident.
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 15:51
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Originally Posted by flash8 View Post
Seemingly according to Wikipedia only 37 built...
That is why I guess I have only vaguely heard of them!
About 100 when combined with it's older slightly smaller sibling, the 880.

I believe it remains the fastest production subsonic airliner.
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 15:55
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Seemingly according to Wikipedia only 37 built...
That is why I guess I have only vaguely heard of them!
NASA still had a CV-990 flying up until the last few years.

And here's one getting going (as I know that most of us have nothing better to do at the moment :-) )

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Old 15th Apr 2020, 18:13
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I used to think Aviogenex sounded so continental and romantic
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 19:25
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Spantax Coronadoes

​​​​​​I was a tower controller at Boh during the summer of 1973 when Spantax operated a weekly service. To describe a landing on 6000 feet of runway as interesting would be a considerable understatement. They invariably burst s tyre which required Jack's to be obtained from BAC over the other side of the airport and a new wheel lowered from it's storage in the wing.



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Old 15th Apr 2020, 20:30
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I remember a CV990 tyre burst at BOH. I was in 102 hangar and the bang rattled the doors. I don't think that happened very often.
I also remember twice seeing the Spantax flight take off from runway 17 with strong southerly winds. Only 4800ft long.
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 20:52
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Spending my formative years under the approach to Manchester Ringway's 24 I clearly remember Spantax Coronados, or should that be unclearly? Air Spain DC8's, Aviaco Caravelles. I think both Spantax and Aviaco went on to fly DC9's. Iberia didn't really make an appearance and there were only rumours of Trans Europa visitors in the dead of night. From the other end of the Med I remember JAT 707's, 727's and DC9's; Inex Adria DC9's and Aviogenex TU134's. The Tupolev's were really easy to spot on the approach with their anhedral mainplanes.
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 20:58
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Flew many times with Aviaco on the DC9 and DC8. Always in the rear as my father liked to smoke. Could hardly see three rows in front of you!

Also flew with Aviogenex on the 727 (I think).

My earliest memory though was with good old Dan Air. The Comet - 4C How's that for noise?
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 21:04
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My first experience was also a Dan Air Comet from Venice to Gatwick in 1969 & of course still have memories of that flight!
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 22:11
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Originally Posted by dixi188 View Post
I remember a CV990 tyre burst at BOH. I was in 102 hangar and the bang rattled the doors. I don't think that happened very often.
I also remember twice seeing the Spantax flight take off from runway 17 with strong southerly winds. Only 4800ft long.
I, too, witnessed the CV990 taking off on 17 (what seemed like 3 or 4 times) in the 70s - it must have been between '73 & '76 - from the College of ATC. Very impressive : & noisy & smoky ! The College was at the end of 17 - just about opposite to where the 990 lifted off !
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 23:48
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The interesting Spantax approaches continued even when they started to re-equip from the CV990s. Those who witnessed one Spantax 737-200 approach into a wet UK regional airport on a very murky Saturday afternoon won't easily forget it, and that must be some three decades ago.

The most unbelievable thing after ATC had hit the airfield crash alarm as it had touched down with barely 2,500ft of runway remaining and disappeared out of sight into a cloud of spray with a juddering racket of reverse thrust (as only a 737-200 could) was the exchange with the tower (in direct course for which the aircraft had been flying - probably 30deg off the runway heading - when it broke out of the cloudbase less than a minute earlier). It went along the lines of:
TWR: [hesitantly] "Spantax 746, are you still with us?"
[short pause]
BX746: "Affirmative Spantax 746 - do we have slot time for Palma?"

I've never seen anything like it ever since, thankfully. I know judging yesterday's actions by the standards of today can lead to all sorts of trouble, but a QAR download would even now make a superb CRM training example of when to chuck away an approach. They didn't, and that they got away with it was far more by luck (and Boeing 737 performance) than design. Horrendous. By comparison, Hispania and LAC were a class act. We'll maybe not go into details of the Oasis/Aerocancun MD83 night visual approach onto the same runway a few years later though.


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