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Aer Lingus Boeing 707s and 720s

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Aer Lingus Boeing 707s and 720s

Old 20th May 2020, 08:50
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Aer Lingus Boeing 707s and 720s

Good morning everyone.

I'd like to know which routes these aircraft operated for the company once the 747s were on the trans-Atlantic routes. I guess the 720s had probably already gone by this time but the 707 certainly stuck around into the mid-1980s. Was it a TA back-up for the 747s or did it have certain niche routes of it's own ? I expect the fleet found itself leased out to other airlines from time to time, in much the same fashion as the 737s.

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Old 20th May 2020, 12:57
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707's were leased out to a few other airlines (Libyan was one?) and quite a few holiday IT charter flights were flown on the 707.
EI did lease in 707's in from Templewood and Montana.
The 737 was the mainstream for short haul flights and the 1-11 was still around too.
The 3 720 had gone.
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Old 20th May 2020, 14:16
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Thanks rog. I expect EIN had a plan or two for the 707 given that they lasted for around fifteen years after the 747 came along. Interesting too that one of their jobs was IT charters, among several other airlines whom also used the 707 for this purpose, e.g. TAP Air Portugal and Air Atlantis, Britannia (briefly) and JAT. I'd venture a reliable if not necessarily economical means of moving more than 130 punters to the Med at once.
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Old 20th May 2020, 14:22
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I remember seeing Aer Lingus's 707s (and 747s) at Heathrow on a few occasions but whether they were replacing 737s and 1-11s or flying services for other airlines I know not.
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Old 20th May 2020, 17:09
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Football/Rugby charters most likely, if seen together. Paddy Power on the move! ;-) I remember seeing the 707's in the Med in the early 80's somewhere. Probably the only aircraft Are Lingus had that would have the legs and capacity to get a charter group there and back without stops in the middle.
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Old 20th May 2020, 18:56
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I'd have thought the 707s would have had some planned, regular work as well as sports charters and back-up duties. As said upthread, Mediterranean holiday stuff could well have provided the bulk of their work. I don't know what sort of market there was in Ireland for longer-range holidays abroad in the 70s and 80s but the 707 should have been able to manage the distance.

Two things have historically struck me about Aer Lingus aircraft. First, whenever I saw one, it was always spotlessly clean on the outside ( engine exhaust dirt notwithstanding). Second, the aircraft were seldom idle. If they weren't earning money for Aer Lingus directly, they were working for somebody else and earning brass that way.
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Old 21st May 2020, 20:32
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In the 1970s and into the 1980s Aer Lingus 707s were used on a range of transatlantic schedules and charters, cargo services and some European IT charters such as to Athens, Rhodes, Heraklion and the Canaries, which were beyond the economical range of the 737-200 (other than a couple of the Advanced version acquired in the late 1970s). The fleet was wound down from the late 1970s and the last 707, EI-ASO, was in its latter years in all-economy configuration with I think 180 or more seats.

Remember that while the airline bought two 747s new, for a number of years one or other was leased out variously to Air Siam, BA, BCAL and (when a third was acquired) LAN Chile. Services were also operated by Aer Lingus 747s at different times in the 1980s on behalf of Kenya Airways and Air Jamaica. As noted, the 707s were leased out at different times to other carriers, including Zambia Airways, Libyan, Arkia, Transair Canada and Qantas. The airline also leased out 737-200s during the winter to a variety of exotic carriers. A complex story, far too long and detailed to recount here!
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Old 22nd May 2020, 07:18
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Thankyou, Liffy, for that detailed summary. I've always liked the 707 (and 727) so it's good to know EIN made good use of them for as long as possible.
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Old 28th May 2020, 23:43
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Aer Lingus 707s

For a plane-mad teenager in the '70s, there was nothing to beat the 720s, 707s (and latterly 747s) on which you could hitch a fare-paying ride between SNN and DUB and even BFS. At least once I flew in a 707 from DUB to BFS. A record short scheduled flight for such an aircraft?
Also in contention: AA 707 from JFK to PHL in 1970.
As for charters... saw an Aer lingus 707 at EDI (Turnhouse) doing a rugby charter in ?1971. A lot of aeroplane for a 6,000 ft runway...
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Old 29th May 2020, 11:50
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There were a lot of multi-sector flights in the 60s & 70s so 707s will have operated some very short flights. I think (but stand to be corrected) that TWA operated between Los Angeles & Long Beach. I'm pretty certain that Pan Am operated 707s between Miami & Nassau, and Kingston & Montego Bay (maybe without traffic rights though). More recently Virgin & BA have operated 747s between Carribean iaslands.

There were a lot of flights between Miami & Ft Lauderdale in the 70s but all the ones I have looked at were 727s or DC9s. I suspect that some may have been operated by 707 or DC8.

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Old 29th May 2020, 14:37
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So how did Are Lingus handle the N Atlantic Navigator issue? Did they have a staff of full time Navs, or did they do as BA and make it an entry level position? I assume they migrated to Doppler/Loran, or maybe INS rather quickly as time moved on.
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Old 30th May 2020, 13:55
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The arrival of the 747s coincided with the peak of the transatlantic affinity group charter market, and the Aer Lingus 707s seemed, surprisingly, to operate a good number of these from the UK, London to New York or Los Angeles etc. A significant charterer seemed to be the UK student travel organisations. I didn't take them so don't know if they transited via Shannon or ran direct. In pre-EU days Aer Lingus must have had some agreement to be able to handle 5th freedom charters like this from Britain, their One-Eleven fleet were regulars for sports teams out of Manchester etc to Europe.

The 720s were a poor initial choice, they sometimes couldn't even make Shannon to New York without a refuelling stop. I only saw one once, wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it myself but at Bristol Lulsgate in about 1968 a midweek winter's inbound Viscount from Dublin was on the board as 2 hours late, and when it turned up was a 720, with maybe 35 passengers. I always thought Aer Lingus would have done better with the fan engine conversion of them into 720Bs, which were way more capable, rather than buying new larger 707-320Cs. Well done Boeing salesmen.
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Old 30th May 2020, 21:10
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I did wonder if Aer Lingus might have been involved with the transatlantic affinity charters. The company was traditionally strong on flights to the USA and had the 'usual' equipment in the shape of the 707-320 so no surprise there. Seems like anyone with a 707 (or DC8) was clamouring for a piece of the ABC market from the UK.
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Old 31st May 2020, 00:57
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One little snippet of trivia: the first transatlantic flight from Newcastle upon Tyne was an Aer Lingus 707 (or it might have been a 720) chartered by a Catholic church choir for a trip to somewhere in the US. Another British Catholic organisation for whom Aer Lingus was the charter carrier of choice was Celtic Football Club. Whether Aer Lingus gave concessionary rates to such groups (the Irish state was quite well bound up with the Catholic Church at that time) or whether it was just a matter of the groups themselves choosing to fly on a 'Catholic' airline, I wouldn't know.
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Old 31st May 2020, 03:03
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During the seventies and for a while I was a member of the team rostering BOAC cabin crew, we had an Air Lingus B747 on lease. Known as Paddy Zulu this aircraft operated LHR-ORD-LHR. Not all crew were qualified to operate PZ so crew who had attended the differences course, their roster cards were coloured in a shade of green.
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Old 31st May 2020, 11:01
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You didn't need to be much of a salesman to sell the B707-320 series. It was a most flexible airframe and had great operating economics. It was likely better than the B720 even for the B720 loads.
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