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Laker Airways IT and charter

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Laker Airways IT and charter

Old 20th Aug 2022, 15:09
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I vaguely recall a Lord Brothers summer brochure, around 1970, which had a holiday series to Albania, with a Laker One-Eleven, flying just once a fortnight from Gatwick to Tirana. This was at a time when Albania was generally considered completely isolated and off limits to any travel, which the brochure page made euphemistic reference to, and Tirana certainly had no scheduled services from the West. Given the long lead times for printing the brochures, I've sometimes wondered if the series in fact ever got started. It would have been a novel Laker destination.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 16:42
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Originally Posted by Mooncrest View Post
I can't contribute much but a family member flew on a Laker DC10 from Luton to Turin in early 1980 on a school ski trip.

Yep, that truly isn't worth a lot. There are 10 000 other threads that you might wish to contribute worthlessness to as well.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 17:53
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Originally Posted by Tartiflette Fan View Post
Yep, that truly isn't worth a lot. There are 10 000 other threads that you might wish to contribute worthlessness to as well.
Without fanning any flames, I think it's a bit notable, as I have never encountered Laker operating out of Luton before, let alone with a DC-10.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 20:01
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Originally Posted by Tartiflette Fan View Post
Yep, that truly isn't worth a lot. There are 10 000 other threads that you might wish to contribute worthlessness to as well.
Thankyou Tartiflette. You are a wonderful warm individual. You might even be a human being.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 20:03
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
Without fanning any flames, I think it's a bit notable, as I have never encountered Laker operating out of Luton before, let alone with a DC-10.
WHBM. I do appreciate in turn your appreciations. Not sure how a DC-10 coped with the relatively short runway at Luton but I guess the Court TriStars managed all right.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 20:22
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
Without fanning any flames, I think it's a bit notable, as I have never encountered Laker operating out of Luton before, let alone with a DC-10.
Might have been this one?

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Lake...0-10/1288724/L




Last edited by Senior Pilot; 21st Aug 2022 at 07:35. Reason: Add photo
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 07:00
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Laker DC10 LTN

Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
What a fabulous photo - thanks for posting (BCAL Charter and Calar/Novair would then be seen at LTN after GK went under)


Other DC-10's seen at LTN were Finnair's (flying as Kar Air) SAS (flying for Scanair) then visits from JAT Martinair and a World AW/MAS colours 1985 flying for Spantax or Monarch>?
Airtours were regulars.
The Monarch Airlines DC-10 30 was seen now and again until the late 90's. (maybe the last DC-10 ever at LTN>?)


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Old 21st Aug 2022, 08:06
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LTN runway

Originally Posted by Mooncrest View Post
WHBM Not sure how a DC-10 coped with the relatively short runway at Luton but I guess the Court TriStars managed all right.
The OU Tri-Star's seemed to of course, 1973 and 1974,
I think they even did St Lucia/Antigua out of Luton, tech stop was Azores or Bangor/Gander iirc?
It's amazing that the Tristar and DC-10 were seen very early on at tiny places like RHO-Maritsa, Gerona, Corfu, Reus and Ibiza amongst others...
There was even a Nightclub under the final approach path at Ibiza called The DC-10. (I know - I went a few times lol)

Also re WHBM's post - I vaguely recall a Lord Brothers summer brochure, around 1970, which had a holiday series to Albania, with a Laker One-Eleven, flying just once a fortnight from Gatwick to Tirana. This was at a time when Albania was generally considered completely isolated and off limits to any travel, which the brochure page made euphemistic reference to, and Tirana certainly had no scheduled services from the West. Given the long lead times for printing the brochures, I've sometimes wondered if the series in fact ever got started. It would have been a novel Laker destination.

I don't recall it ever started but it may have done -

Tour Operators from the 1960's were always looking at more 'exotic and cheaper' places to fly to for package holidays, Bulgaria (Varna and Bourgas flights) and Romania (Constanta flights) to name a couple, plus Thomsons put Algiers in a 1970's main summer brochure (Using BY 737's) Algiers of course, was once stunning, but it's instability began and I'm not sure if the series ever started. Likewise they tried also Dakar in the early 1990's - that too was doomed to start.

Laker and Lord Bros seemed to stay 'safe' and stick to the main hot spots.
I do not think that Laker (unlike Clarksons and Thomsons) entered into the building of any Holiday
Hotels abroad.

I do recall that in the mid 1960's both Tunis and Djerba flights appeared - very exotic and British Eagle had scheduled flights there to both with the BAC 1-11.
Other 1-11 airlines also went there BUA Autair and BMA.

Not until Faro Airport had opened, so the Estoril coast (flying to Lisbon) was very popular and also rather upmarket and thus the package holidays were expensive, same as the Canaries, Rhodes and Cyprus.
Tourism in the Algarve area really began to take off and The Travel Club Upminster was pivotal in pioneering UK charter flights to the new airport at Faro.
The airport virtually became an overnight success and was conveniently placed to the many resorts and beaches, such as Vilamoura, Albufeira, Vale del Lobo and Praia da Luz.
The town of Lagos is also known for its charming beach and historical appeal.

Menorca also got a new airport for summer 1969 when all passenger services were transferred from the old neighbouring San Luis Airport.
Previously I gather both the Bristol Britannia and Vanguards operated in to the old airport but not jets.
The beginnings of Menorca aerodrome were marked by the Spanish Civil War and the need for a military airfield on the island. In the summer of 1936, work began on levelling the airfield. At the end of the conflict in 1939, the usable area of the runway was 850 metres.
The airfield was used sporadically by aeroplanes diverting from the Son San Juan airfield in Mallorca when the Ministry of Aviation agreed to open from 1949 the San Luis Airport to civil air traffic, full domestic traffic and international tourist traffic.
The inaugural flight, by Aviaco flying from Barcelona, took place in August of the same year, establishing the Barcelona-Mahon route and using Bristol 170 aircraft during the first few years. In 1959 and 1961 the runway was extended twice.
The entry into service of Aviaco DC-4s made further extension works necessary.
In September 1965 the name of the airport was officially changed from San Luis to Mahon Airport.
With the increase in tourist traffic and charter flights, as well as the fact that the new jet aircraft required longer runways, the need to build a new airport for the island was soon taken into consideration and in 1967 construction of a new airport was underway built to serve mid-size jet aircraft.
1970 saw Minorca holidays included in many of the big Tour Companies Summer Brochures with new build hotels shown as the infamous ''Artists impressions''
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 08:19
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Don't forget Freddie was one of the pioneers who started his operations during the Berlin Airlift operating out of Bovingdon.
The above mentioned San Luis airport on Mahon was notorious for is very low LCN; more than once the visiting BEA Vanguard sank into the tarmac and had to be pulled out and that was ons of the reason a new airport was built.
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 08:41
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The Court Line long haul operated from LGW couldn't get fuel in the Azores so we operated via Gander with a crew change
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 13:17
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Originally Posted by Mooncrest View Post
WHBM. I do appreciate in turn your appreciations. Not sure how a DC-10 coped with the relatively short runway at Luton but I guess the Court TriStars managed all right.
AFAIR the DC-10 and TriStar we're lead by an American Airlines requirement for a widebody optimised for US transcontinental routes including operating from La Guardia's 7,000 foot runways.
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 16:38
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From my logbook:

07.03.80 DC10-10 G-BBSZ Gatwick - Turin - Luton

We had to be very careful not to put a truck over the edge of the runway when turning around since the minimum turning circle of a DC-10 was 147 feet. The answer was to send the F/E back to Door 1L, open it and then tell us on the interphone exactly how close we were to the edge before making the turn. The opposition would have loved it if we had put a wheel over the edge and blocked the runway!

Last edited by JW411; 22nd Aug 2022 at 15:01.
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 19:30
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At Luton Court Line had aiming markers at 45 in the turning pan, we then had an arc of pegs about 20 feet beyond the concrete. The technique was to taxy until the arc of pegs was directly below the pilots seat. This put the noosewheel on the edge of the concrete and then apply thrust, brakes and steering and haul it round,it worked!
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 20:26
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Originally Posted by JW411 View Post
From my logbook:

07.03.80 DC10-10 B-BBSZ Gatwick - Turin - Luton
I guess this was a W, ending up with another crew back at Gatwick. Ski operators seemed to prefer Luton, whereas for holiday operators the focus was much more on Gatwick - even Clarksons and Thomson slowly added Gatwick operations to their Luton ones.
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 01:17
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Ah nostalgia!
1981 or 2 or 3, we had a wonderful Californian holiday courtesy of Laker staff travel
Must have been a -30 I guess to get from LGW to LAX.
The tickets were 5.00 each return! The cabin crew looked after us very well, we consumed way more than that in catering!
Also kindly offered the jumpseat for the arrival.
Happy Daze
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 14:02
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I flew on a Laker 1-11 LGW to TFN around 1969 ?? On the return flight we stopped at LPA for more fuel, I also used Skytrain DC-10 to LAX a couple of times, I do remember people bringing whole picnics on board to eat …very different to todays holiday flights !
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 06:22
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Originally Posted by simoncorbett View Post
I flew on a Laker 1-11 LGW to TFN around 1969 ?? On the return flight we stopped at LPA for more fuel, I also used Skytrain DC-10 to LAX a couple of times, I do remember people bringing whole picnics on board to eat very different to today's holiday flights !
On the Laker Skytrain flights they were eventually to offer a meal included in all fares IIRC.
The last winter of operation saw the inception of a Regency Class Business seat upgraded product in the front cabin of the DC-10's.
I think MIA JFK and LAX were all to have this for summer 1982.
Besides the Skytrain flights there was a separate Transatlantic Charter program - YYZ was one popular route.
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 11:19
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Laker Airways Regency Class. I remember reading a review (can't remember where, most likely Sunday Times) suggesting it was like Harrods opening a boutique in Tesco.

Alas, it was probably doomed from the start.
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 11:53
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Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
On the Laker Skytrain flights they were eventually to offer a meal included in all fares IIRC.
The last winter of operation saw the inception of a Regency Class Business seat upgraded product in the front cabin of the DC-10's.
I think MIA JFK and LAX were all to have this for summer 1982.
Besides the Skytrain flights there was a separate Transatlantic Charter program - YYZ was one popular route.
By that last summer of 81, the transatlantic flights were getting somewhat erratic, lots of schedule changes and combining flights - we had one pax who was so upset that his 'direct' flight from Gatwick to New York was stopping at MAN, he ended up being escorted from the airport by the police. Sounds like Regency Class was another finger in the dyke
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 12:53
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Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
On the Laker Skytrain flights they were eventually to offer a meal included in all fares IIRC.
The last winter of operation saw the inception of a Regency Class Business seat upgraded product in the front cabin of the DC-10's.
I think MIA JFK and LAX were all to have this for summer 1982.
Besides the Skytrain flights there was a separate Transatlantic Charter program - YYZ was one popular route.
I believe the Regency Class seat vendor was left with a large unpaid debt at the bankruptcy of the airline.

I don't know if Laker were around long enough to do charters to Orlando. Their other Skytrain destinations were in fact just rollups of longstanding charter destinations, originally affinity group (going right back to the 1969 programme and 707s inherited from British Eagle at the latter's failure) and later ABCs. People I was at university with in 1977 from Los Angeles had come over on a Laker DC-10-10 ABC, which routed LAX-Bangor-Prestwick-Gatwick (tiring). They then came on by train to Edinburgh the next day, not having realised where Prestwick was !
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