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Widebody Holiday Jets

Old 14th Jun 2021, 12:00
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Round about 1989/1990 Air Europe used a leased 747 (Tower Air?) for its Orlando flights (in addition to the 757s). Its reliability was appalling, so much so that when I, as an Air Europe employee, took the family to Disney on holiday, we elected to go via Bangor on a 757 rather than non-stop on the 747.
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 12:12
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Mention of the Tower Air 747 reminds me my daughter flew to the US, maybe 1990?.
She booked with Airtours and finished up going on a 747.Possibly a ZK registered?
There was also an Orion? 747 flying around that time which became infamous for its reliability.I think the press labelled it the flying pig.
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 13:02
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Originally Posted by willy wombat View Post
Donít forget Peach (anagram of cheap) and their Gatwick based tristars, along with Air Atlanta.
​​​​​​
I did a trip on a Peach Tristar out of Gatwick in mid 90s. I only remember it as I had the best package flight meal ever. Fish pie that was truly excellent.
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 14:05
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LTU with L1011, MD11, B767 and A330
Flying into Dusseldorf back then was always a pleasure to see all the many widebodies of LTU awaiting passengers, or in and outside the Mx Hangars, a sea of red and white.

I bought a bucket shop (remember them ?) ticket from London to Honolulu return with World Airways, a good 40% cheaper than the BA/United offering on the route. Almost 2 days of travelling and quite a few airports, not mentioned on the ticket and legal to do so.....I think it was LGW-BWI-MCI-OAK-LAX-HNL. The DC-10's were pleasant enough and the colour scheme a classic.

Did anyone mention People Express and their 747's from LGW to EWR back when it was a bit of a dump compared to JFK. My flight had only maybe 50 passenger and looked a bit dilapidated. Not long after they went bust, bought out by Frankie boy and TAC before all that went south.

Let us not forget Northwest Orient flying 747's and DC10's from Gatwick to several points on the east coast of the USA. They were a nice airline to fly with and had incredible connections to a massive host of regional airports.
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 14:13
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BritishCaledonianCharter/CalAir/NovAir..used DC10-10's for years. One of then AL was one of the earliest examples and still had some test equipment aboard.
These were excellent aircraft with 380 seats and good airfield performance.
Of the three two were ex Laker and the other bought in (which served as the flying eye hospital for a number of years).
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 15:57
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Monarch were going to acquire a pair of used A310-300 from Canada in 1992 but the deal fell through when the two A306 aircraft it had on lease were returned following the collapse of Compass in Australia. There were also a pair of B767-300 that were ordered from Boeing and never delivered and ended up elsewhere.
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 17:10
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I flew LHR-FAro in 1974 or 5 on a BA Airtours tristar and very nice it was too compared to the usual sun and fun services.

WHBM , well back then the BA JFK BDA return may have had a good number of US holiday makers but these days the BA 2232 /3 LGW BDA is almost entirely justified on business travel as BDA is inordinately expensive to visit except on business but BA have for years done really well out of the F and J loads . Bermuda is one of the worlds largest insurance markets handling billions and billions plus a substantial offshore legal domicile business too and these folks dont travel Y very often and there are a good number of wealthy Bermudians willing to pay for F on the relatively short overnight BDA-LGW. BA mostly used a 747 but the JFK add on route had stopped by then and the BA 74 went on to Kingston and returned close to midnight BDA time, in the 70sd BDA was a frequent stop on both BA and AC Caribbean services using 707 300s and DC8-60 series .

Tourism even from the US has declined dramatically and an A320 is about the largest you get from the US airports. Back in the 1980s (I spent the whole decade there) a typical day included . AA Dc10 ex JFK, EAstern L1011 ex JFK DL L1011s doing BOS-BDA-ATL and the reverse ATL-BDA-BOS , AC DC8 . In addition there were another four or five flights all using 727s. Early 737s were not suitable for Bermuda since there is only the one runway there and a diversion meant coming all the way back to where one started from against the usual westerlies. Many many more seats than are available today. Also that tourist marketwas rather more Golf and Luxury shopping than bucket and spade and probably a much older demographic than typical bucket and spade ops ,

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Old 14th Jun 2021, 17:53
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There was a short lived Airline,Classic Airways who flew a Tristar.Saw it once on a Lourdes charter at Leeds/Bradford many moons ago.
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 18:18
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Aer Turas operated a TriStar or two as well, on passenger charter flights from the UK. EI-CNN was one and it was the one-time G-BAAA of Court Line.
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 20:19
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Here's a few more from various times 1990s on.

Prime Airlines - nothing to do with Amazon, but a subsiduary of Heavylift Air Cargo - they operated an A300 for a season or so.
Tranaer - several A300s operated during the late 1990s, and appararently a MD-11 (N278WA) too during 1999 - presumably a wetlease from World
Air Scandic already mentioned as an A300 operator, also had a Tristar - the aforementioned Aer Turas EI-CNN
TBG Airways, linked to Aer Turas, also used EI-CNN, plus another couple of Irish registered Tristar.
European Air Charter had 747s (ex British Airways) plus a single A300 (that whilst painted up, never operated for them)
Atlanta Airways (nothing to do with Air Atlanta Icelandic) who became International Airways
Air Atlanta Europe which was the UK offshoot of Air Atlanta Icelandic
Leisure International who had a couple of 767s - they were the 'widebody' arm of Air UK Leisure
JMC Air the combined Caledonian / Flying Colours airline with DC-10-30s (and A330s?)
Excalibur Airways, who decided to switch from shorthaul flying with A320s, and found it all went pearshaped very quickly - they had wetleased DC-10 (V2 LEH)
Somewhat tenuously, I believe British Air Ferries used (Bulgarian, wetleased) A310s for a period of time too.

I'm sure there are more.

Last edited by jetstream7; 14th Jun 2021 at 21:34.
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 20:42
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The Stansted Sunday night Scandi invasion, well discussed on the other holiday jet threads, saw Scanair send their A300's and DC-10's in the mid/late 80's. Im not actually sure when these Sunday charters ended....I guess they just faded away as the low-co's emerged?

Danish Conair also had A300's, and I guess these may also have visited Stansted on a Sunday, although my memory is declining to give me an image of one there.
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 21:28
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KLM used 747’s on cruise ship passengers to the Canaries.
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 21:58
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Jetstream 7.
European Air Charter bought two A300B2s from air france without engines,(they were removed after the ferry flights from France).
Both aircraft were painted in new colours but no engines were available for lease and the aircraft sat at Bournemouth for quite a few years before being broken up.
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 22:57
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Martinair around 1995 747 to Orlando.
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 07:16
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IIRC, the a/c referred to was indeed with Laker as G-BELO before passing over to BCAL Charter the joint venture project between BCAL and The Rank Organisation which in turn was the parent company of Wings/OSL Holidays
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 07:33
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack View Post
Flying into Dusseldorf back then was always a pleasure to see all the many widebodies of LTU awaiting passengers, or in and outside the Mx Hangars, a sea of red and white.

I bought a bucket shop (remember them ?) ticket from London to Honolulu return with World Airways, a good 40% cheaper than the BA/United offering on the route. Almost 2 days of travelling and quite a few airports, not mentioned on the ticket and legal to do so.....I think it was LGW-BWI-MCI-OAK-LAX-HNL. The DC-10's were pleasant enough and the colour scheme a classic.

Did anyone mention People Express and their 747's from LGW to EWR back when it was a bit of a dump compared to JFK. My flight had only maybe 50 passenger and looked a bit dilapidated. Not long after they went bust, bought out by Frankie boy and TAC before all that went south.

Let us not forget Northwest Orient flying 747's and DC10's from Gatwick to several points on the east coast of the USA. They were a nice airline to fly with and had incredible connections to a massive host of regional airports.
SHJ
I was a regular on the NW Orient to Minneapolis back then from Gatwick. My personal record was 3 trips in one month ( donít ask !) and you are correct their regional service was excellent along with that of Delta who had L1011 on the North Atlantic to Atlanta who I also used. TWA had a mix of L1011 and I think 767 but I did not use them much on the St Louis service. All a long time ago now.

Cheers
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 12:29
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Just remembered I flew a Travel City Direct 747 200 from Manchester to Orlando Sanford.Seem to remember the cabin crew were Air Atlanta circa 2004.
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 14:42
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WHBM , well back then the BA JFK BDA return may have had a good number of US holiday makers but these days the BA 2232 /3 LGW BDA is almost entirely justified on business travel as BDA is inordinately expensive to visit except on business but BA have for years done really well out of the F and J loads .
Things change. Quite some years ago one of the staff in my London office got a task to do some work at the office of a UK bank in Nassau, Bahamas. He got as can be imagined quite some stick before departure. He was booked in to a 5-star hotel in Nassau.

The hotel had say 500 rooms, 499 US couples plus him. The grand (paid-for) breakfast started at 0730. This coincided with the arrival of his taxi, as the office opened at 0800, so he never got breakfast, as he was sent out if entering before, nor did the "5-star" hotel offer anything other than a substantially surcharged room service breakfast. Dinner in the evening started at 7pm, and was lucky to finish by 10pm. There was a floorshow each night among the dining tables. He was of course seated on his own at the worst point. Not being profligate with tipping, he was mostly ignored by the staff. Walking through the lobby in his suit he was regularly mistaken for hotel management. The manager, who he spoke with over issues a couple of times, was unable to reply in any other way than suggesting revenue items that would add to his bill, eg questions about Downtown Nassau were only answered by trying to sell the excursion to there. Seemed to be the training.
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 16:15
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SHJ
I was a regular on the NW Orient to Minneapolis back then from Gatwick. My personal record was 3 trips in one month ( don’t ask !) and you are correct their regional service was excellent along with that of Delta who had L1011 on the North Atlantic to Atlanta who I also used. TWA had a mix of L1011 and I think 767 but I did not use them much on the St Louis service. All a long time ago now.
Did TWA operate from LGW as well as LHR ? Delta and Continental also flew from LGW for a time didn't they ? I seem to remember taking flights with them, but like you I used to travel a lot and it's a bit of a blur, well parts of it at least!
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 16:40
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Originally Posted by gcal View Post
BritishCaledonianCharter/CalAir/NovAir..used DC10-10's for years. One of then AL was one of the earliest examples and still had some test equipment aboard.
These were excellent aircraft with 380 seats and good airfield performance.
This was an operation which changed almost every year. The principal two DC-10-10s BZJD/E were more recent deliveries 1979 to Laker than their others, I think they were from a cancelled order. After a couple of years, when Laker shut down the mainstream tour operators left unserved got together with British Caledonian, who also had the DC-10 on their AOC but were not doing holiday charters at the time, and a joint operation started, which seemed to change its name every year or two, initially just British Caledonian, then British Caledonian Charter. The livery then got changed from the normal B Cal one to the bold orange stripe, initially as Cal Air, then as Novair, one summer season only I think, then they got replaced by 737-400s. Five different names in 10 years. One of them was still flying until a few months ago for FedEx. 42 years use was a good run.

Last edited by WHBM; 15th Jun 2021 at 16:52.
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