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Holiday jets again - this time, the Boeing 707 and 720

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Holiday jets again - this time, the Boeing 707 and 720

Old 1st Jun 2021, 19:22
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Holiday jets again - this time, the Boeing 707 and 720

An aircraft perhaps not as economical to operate as a factory fresh 737-200 but plenty of them around on the used market by the 1970s, not that expensive to acquire, greater capacity and greater range than the more junior Boeings, 1-11s and so on. Needing three flight crew might have been a disadvantage from a payroll perspective but it also meant the plus of having an Engineer on hand down route, for for those 'technical times'.

Operators:

BEA Airtours, then British Airtours
Britannia Airways
British Midland
Donaldson - please advise if I'm wrong
British Caledonian
Laker Airways
Lloyd International
Monarch Airlines
Dan Air
Air Malta
Aer Lingus
JAT
Air Atlantis

More???
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 20:21
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Conair and Maersk in Denmark.

Phoenix in Switzerland, also a German outfit called Calair - know nothing about them at all. Both early '70s.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 20:31
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How about the VC-10?
Oh, just BUA / BCAL then.
I remember one out of Hurn to Tenerife instead of the 1-11 when the French or Spanish ATC were on strike.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 20:50
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Cyprus Airways had a B707. I flew in it from LHR to LCA and return in 1981.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 20:56
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Invicta had some 720s.
Trans European Airways
Transavia
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 21:05
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Middle East Airlines and Scibe Zaire both did some subbing for European charter outfits in the 1980s. I believe Club Air of Ireland also had a 707, although I've not seen it or a photograph of it.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 21:06
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Another operator with ad-hoc charters plus holiday flights from Iceland to the Canary Islands and Mediterranean resort's.

Eagle Air of Iceland... Boeing 707/720

Also how can we forget British Eagle Airways Boeing 707.

Plus two operators of the Boeing 707/720 based at Berlin Tegal Airport offering holiday flights to the Canary Islands and Mediterranean resort's.

Aeroamerica... Boeing 707/720
Air Berlin... Boeing 707
​​​​​

Last edited by Sotonsean; 1st Jun 2021 at 21:34.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 21:13
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Originally Posted by spekesoftly View Post
Cyprus Airways had a B707. I flew in it from LHR to LCA and return in 1981.
In 1981 Cyprus Airways had four former American Airlines Boeing 707-123B aircraft in their fleet.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 21:21
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
Invicta had some 720s.
Trans European Airways
Transavia
Invicta International only ever operated a single Boeing 720-023B.

Boeing 720-023B G-BCBA operated by Invicta International Airlines between 1973 and 1975. Invicta International obtained the aircraft direct from Boeing after the order was cancelled by MEA Middle East Airlines.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 21:33
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UK and Euro 707's (Big Jets now)

The start ------


All began once upon a time, I think with Condor and Sabena (Sobelair) back in the mid 1960's onwards using parent 707's for IT.s

BOAC did use their 707's on plenty of Affinity and Group charters both from LHR and LGW but not IT's to the Med.

British Eagle gained a couple of ex Qantas 707-138B's in 1968 primarily not for IT work but they hoped to get BDA and NAS and other scheduled long haul routes which the UK Board of Trade said no to.
Sadly EG folded, and Laker took the 707's on in 1969 and put the pair ZZ and DG to good use on Lord Bros Holidays flights, plus a lease agreement for one 707 to fly to Barbados via Luxembourg for a joint venture with Barbados Tourism (ICA International Caribbean Airways)
They ended up helping out on USA & Canada charters, plus early Skytrain too.

Caledonian Airways were getting on the growing USA/Canada East Africa and the Far East Affinity Group and IT charters and ordered 2 new 707C's in 1967, plus leased 2 more from Flying Tigers, and took 2 more from Exec Jet, another ex British Eagle example NTU a newish 707-365C TZC from Airlift also ended up with Cale making 7 in the fleet by 1970.
Massive hoo hahs began with the Govt and BOAC objecting over the purchases, and the requested waiver of Import Tax Duty from HMRC.
EG had this same problem.
Global Holidays took great delight in advertising Cale 707 holidays from LGW MAN & GLA to Palma Ibiza Tenerife and Benidorm (ALC) for summer 1969.

Next saw Pan Am start to offload in 1970 their early 707-321's and we saw Dan Air, BMA, and Lloyd all take a pair, plus Donaldson took 4.
All saw plenty of holiday work down to the Med and the Canary islands plus loads of dodgy Affinity Groups to the USA and Canada, plus HKG and East Africa.

There was rumour Channel AW were looking at old 707's too - Both from CO and AA so I gather.

Both Monarch and BEA Airtours 720B's and 707's were boldly splashed across their in-house Tour Operators brochures (Cosmos and Enterprise) as artists impressions for summer 1971 ''Look what we've bought for you''! they proclaimed - Much oohing and aahing came the Public and Travel Trade's response.
KT had wanted to buy more fuel efficient ex AA 707-123B's but HM Govt said Nope.

Also in 1971 Britannia AW leased a couple of 707C for ITs to the Med and Jamaica but they did not fit in and were soon moved on to BCAL.
BCAL flew plenty of 707C Charter work all over, plus ABC's and holiday IT's

Invicta bought 2 720B from AA in 1974 but only flew 1 themselves and leased out the 2nd.
Both Monarch and Invicta chose the extra pair of over wing exits to be added, as did Conair and Maersk to their 720B's.

Other airlines followed buying up or leasing older 707 or 720/720B
Conair, TEA, Maersk, Air Commerz, Eagle Air, Montana, Luxair, Transavia, Paninternational, Phoenix, AeroAmerica, Air Berlin USA which were all seen at Palma every weekend in the 1970's at some point.
A few others with 707/720 soon failed --- Air Viking Calair, Trans Polar Aeropa Perfect AT, and Delta AT.

On the Transatlantic holiday and group charters front we saw 707's coming in to the UK from the late 1960's of
Wardair, Quebecair, Transair, PWA, Ontario Worldair, World AW, Pan Am, and TWA.

Saturn Airways had cancelled their 707C orders, and a 707C would remain on option for AFA until they also switched sides and both ordered the DC-8-63 in late 1968.
American Flyers was taken over by Universal Airlines in 1971 (which in turn was taken over by Saturn, then in turn by TIA)
Airlift International own 707C seen occasionally and Executive Jet Aviation 707C was immediately leased to Airlift International returning to Executive Jet.
The following month it was leased to International Air Bahama then off to Caledonian AW.


As an aside -
Seen at Palma any summer from around 1967-1972

KLM, Martinair, Sudflug, Pomair, Atlantis, Finnair, Spearair, Karair, Air Spain, Balair and Scanair (SAS) all using DC-8's to the Med,
followed a bit later by SATA, Aviaco Spantax, and TAE.

Balair, Internord, and Modern Air (from TXL) in the 1960's had all been using the CV990,
as was Spantax who were then starting to acquire the type.

That's it for the early period - I'm knackered


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Old 1st Jun 2021, 22:20
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I only saw the JAT 707 on Yugotours duty in the summer of 1985, though I'm sure Air Yugoslavia had been making use of them for a few years prior. It was always the same pair that had the gig, YU-AGI and AGJ, both ex-Northwest -351Cs. Never saw the other two, AGE and AGG. Perhaps they had a different seating configuration or were for schedules only.

One thing I do remember about the British Airtours 707s at Manchester is that they never seemed to move! Maybe they were relegated to backup status as the 737s came along and the early TriStars were transferred from mainline.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 22:52
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Holiday 707/720

Nobody seems to have mentioned MAOF from Israel, operated two B720's from Monarch flying Luton-Tel Aviv

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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 05:23
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I used to love seeing all the Maersk 720's arriving into Stansted as part of the Scandinvasion on a Sunday evening in the late 70's. The other carriers were (if memory serves) variations of white, but the 2-tone blue just seemed so striking. There really was quite a few 'vibrant' colour schemes back in the day what with Court, Braniff, South American airline (?).
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 08:34
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Back end of '79, Monarch painted one of their 720s in P & O cruise lines colours for some flights to meet the ships. It was ex Maersk and had an extra gally just forward of the rear LH door. We removed the gally to get an extra row of seats in but there was no seat rail in the floor. We were told to move other rows forward an inch or two so that the 189 seats would fit. I think some rows were down to 28 or 29 inch pitch.
That must have been very uncomfortable for the longer flights.
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 09:09
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MAOF 720B and 707B and last Holiday 707's in UK

Originally Posted by pppdrive View Post
Nobody seems to have mentioned MAOF from Israel, operated two B720B's from Monarch flying Luton-Tel Aviv
Yes MAOF went on to eventually operate both of the ex Invicta 720B's (BA and BB) that had come through the bargain basement from Monarch.

MAOF also flew one of the 3 ex TransAsian/Tigerair/Tempair/Templewood/Air Transcontinental B707-120B's, G-TJAA being one of the pair of 707-139's ordered by Cubana in 1959 NTU due to the embargo, but were bought by Western, then sold to Pan Am.

AB / AC
were the other 2, ex AA -123B's going to Monarch as G-BHOX and BHOY.
MAOF went on in 1984 to obtain from British Airtours 707-336B G-AXXY

The last Holiday 707's in UK -

Along with G-AXXY British Airtours also flew 707-336C G-AVPB -
both were used on the 1982 series of ABC Charters LGW to EWR, TPA YYZ and LAX plus IT's to the Med replacing the older RR 707-420's.
BEA Airtours had also, along with DA, BD, CA, GK, BY, Lloyd and Donaldson flown their 707's on the first Affinity Group and ABC Transatlantic Charters in the early years.

Laker had replaced in 1978 their 2 707-138B's with 2 old 707-351B (SCD) models bought from Cathay Pacific - again using one of these 707's on the dedicated ICA Barbados route.
Laker went under in Feb 1982 and the unique -351B's never got sold on.

In 1982 BMA British Midland refurbished their 2 707-338C's G-BFLD and LE with a new wide-look cabin, fitted out with 212 new seats and Galleys.
A larger 757 Type 1 Door & Slide Exit aft of the wing was fitted to replace the previous hat rack hatch door.
Soon after BMA's all-Cargo 707-321C G-BMAZ (Ex N448M) also received the same treatment, and joined the other two flying on IT charters from MAN, BHX and EMA to the Med, plus long haul Charters to LAX JFK YVR and YYZ, mainly from LGW and MAN. They flew SKI flights in the winter too.
BMA never got the USA scheduled licences they had sought to fly those from LHR, so the 707's were sold in 1985.

Monarch had finally retired all of their 720B/707 fleet as their new 757's arrived by 1983.


The 707 continued to be seen at various UK airports in to the early 1990's operated by some weird, and some maybe dodgy outfits flying or slogging them on AOG or ACMI Sub-Charters for the likes of Air Europe, Paramount, Britannia etc.

European 707 and 720 charter operators like Conair, Condor, TEA, Maersk, Transavia, Sobelair, Eagle Air, Air Berlin USA, had all began to obtain newer jets like the A300, 727-200 and 737-200's.


Last edited by rog747; 2nd Jun 2021 at 09:44.
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 09:14
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Originally Posted by dixi188 View Post
Back end of '79, Monarch painted one of their 720s in P & O cruise lines colours for some flights to meet the ships. It was ex Maersk and had an extra galley just forward of the rear LH door. We removed the galley to get an extra row of seats in but there was no seat rail in the floor. We were told to move other rows forward an inch or two so that the 189 seats would fit. I think some rows were down to 28 or 29 inch pitch.
That must have been very uncomfortable for the longer flights.
I think that was 720B G-BHGE?

Eventually, in 1981 G-AXRS 707-355C was leased by Monarch from BCAL for Caribbean and Cruise Ship flights I gather.

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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 09:48
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Air Gambia, early nineties, out of Gatwick.Seem to remember there was a Honduran registered operating that route on a couple of occassions.
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 09:56
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[QUOTE]Soon after BMA's all-Cargo 707-321C G-BMAZ (Ex N448M)[/QUOTE]

Ah, remember that calling up as Maverick 448 Mike before BMA acquired her... coming down G1 to Dover.
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 10:21
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Was there a single pilot type-rating covering all variants of the 707 and 720 ? I'd imagine that there would have been a few configurational and handling differences to be learned.
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 10:30
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Aeropa had a single B707 which I remember seeing regularly at Glasgow in 1972 or '73 , registered I-SAVA !
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