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British and European charter airlines from days past...

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British and European charter airlines from days past...

Old 2nd May 2024, 21:17
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Before that there were the IL-18 operators - Bulgarian Air Transport/Bulair and Malev.
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Old 2nd May 2024, 21:52
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Air Commerz (German B707)
Pomair Ostend (DC-8)


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Old 2nd May 2024, 22:32
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Torosair (Turkey)

universair (if not already mentioned)

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Old 2nd May 2024, 23:35
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Doesn't anyone else remember Altair with one aircraft based in Luton and another based in Gatwick.
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Old 3rd May 2024, 01:49
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Originally Posted by pppdrive
Doesn't anyone else remember Altair with one aircraft based in Luton and another based in Gatwick.
Not in the UK, but I do recall them at Palma in 1985, when their entire fleet were together, three onetime Finnair Caravelles, arrived together from three different Italian cities. It did seem strange that Italians went just along the coast to Majorca for their holidays.

Italy was one of those points where, separately from Mediterranean holiday flights, supposed-charters, sold seat-only, ran from the UK to a wide range of cities and took a chunk of the general commercial traffic. These non-holiday charters were an interest in their own right, bringing inward traffic into the UK, almost wholly London. Another group were "Student Charters", which peaked in the 1970s and then were mostly killed off by the Interail scheme for roaming round Europe in the summer. These seemed to pick up marginal midweek time from otherwise holiday flight operators, and were behind the range of European operators that turned up at Gatwick, companies like CTA (more Caravelles) from Switzerland. They also seemed to handle a considerable number of passengers who looked decidedly non-student. Presumably the CAA looked the other way. That Austrian Air Transport flight I described taking was one such, it was 1975, using a regular Austrian Airlines DC9-30 from Gatwick to Vienna. Flight prefix was OB instead of mainstream Austrian's OS.

Surprisingly, more than 25 years later, when flying a PA28 around Florida, at the old St Petersburg airport, there was a DC9 fuselage in pseudo-old National Airlines colours dumped on the ground. Investigation showed it was the same DC9 as on that trip to Vienna long beforehand.
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Old 3rd May 2024, 06:31
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Originally Posted by DH106
Spantax, and their 990's !
Ah memories, memories. My first flight !
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Old 3rd May 2024, 07:19
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Originally Posted by Muddy Paws
Air Commerz (German B707)
Pomair Ostend (DC-8)
Did both those operate regular IT flights from UK?
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Old 3rd May 2024, 09:06
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Channel Airways, my first ever flight in 1970. Trident aircraft both ways.

Stansted (way before it was redeveloped) to Gerona.

Happy days indeed.
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Old 3rd May 2024, 10:23
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Originally Posted by ATNotts
Did both those operate regular IT flights from UK?
Not sure but they were all at Luton in summer 72 for a European football final at Wembley. Along with a host of Transavia stuff. A young spotters dreams all came true that week!
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Old 3rd May 2024, 10:30
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Berlin Regional UK.


https://www.berlin-spotter.de/airlin...ineuropean.htm
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Old 3rd May 2024, 12:26
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Pomair didn't get a lot of holiday flight work from Belgium out of season. Their DC8s in the 1970s were quite regular at Heathrow, standing in for Air Ceylon on their schedule to Colombo.

And that's yet another category, and source of revenue for these operators, sub-charters as stand-ins, both on holiday flights and mainstream schedules. Didn't Dan-Air send aircraft over to Australia during the lengthy 1989 pilots' strike by the mainstream carriers there ?

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Old 3rd May 2024, 13:55
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I remember Aeroflot Tu-104s and later IL-62s, Tu-134/154s and even an IL-86 regularly at Gatwick on (I think) Saturdays - were they "charters" of some sort rather than scheduled flights.
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Old 3rd May 2024, 14:41
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Originally Posted by treadigraph
I remember Aeroflot Tu-104s and later IL-62s, Tu-134/154s and even an IL-86 regularly at Gatwick on (I think) Saturdays - were they "charters" of some sort rather than scheduled flights.
Yes they were, there was a small but steady stream of tourism to the Soviet Union by various tour companies (Thomson were surprisingly well into it), especially in the 1980s, and these were long handled by Aeroflot charters.

It was also standard for large Soviet groups to be 'kept together', rather than left to the open world of scheduled operations. There were a few Soviet cruise ships which operated in the 1970s-80s out of Southampton and Dover, and even some cargo ships, and crew changes on them would involve a dedicated Aeroflot flight. Periodic football team contests were the same. The place to really see such flights was Shannon, not only schedules but bursts of charters and specials as well, if you were lucky half a dozen in a day. There was a Soviet jet fuel tank farm at Shannon, which avoided spending foreign exchange, supplied by tankers sailing round from the Black Sea to a dedicated discharge point.
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Old 3rd May 2024, 15:19
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Originally Posted by WHBM
You are correct, they had just the one DC8, it was a pioneer of being based at the Finland end of the quite substantial holiday market from there to the Canary Islands, Europe's longest haul and which had previously been dominated by Spanish carriers like Spantax's Convairs, and DC7s before that. Kar-Air was owned by Finnair, and it was never particularly apparent where the boundary lay. Finnair had not long before got DC-8s for its first Transatlantic flights, which themselves made the odd trip to the Canaries in winter as well. I think the Kar-Air DC8 had Finnair flight deck crews. It also quite often turned up at Stansted when Sunday charters from Scandinavia were the thing.

The DC6A had Kar-Air titles but was operated with Finnair flight numbers, on a weekday cargo service Helsinki-Heathrow-Manchester-Helsinki, into the early 1980s, and was the last timetabled 4-engine piston operation into the UK. It used to leave Manchester on its way home around 8.30 am, just when I was arriving for work in the city centre, and often would be on climb power over the city. Of course. I always stopped to watch ...
just to clarify: Kar-air was originally founded as an independent airline in 1947. At the peak of its independent times, in 1961, KarAir had eight aircrafts (DC3's, DC6's and CV440's.
In 1963 Aero (nowadays Finnair) bought 27% of its shares getting 51% of votes. A lot happened in the following years (focus on cargo and charter instead of scheduled passenger flights and in the 90's focused on domestic routes) but eventually it was the 1990's finance crisis that ended Kar-Air, it was fully merged to Finnair in 1996.
In practice many of Kar-Air's aircraft were dry leased from Finnair. Actually, back in the 50's and 60's more crews were hired with Kar-Air than Aero.
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Old 3rd May 2024, 16:43
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Originally Posted by treadigraph
I remember Aeroflot Tu-104s and later IL-62s, Tu-134/154s and even an IL-86 regularly at Gatwick on (I think) Saturdays - were they "charters" of some sort rather than scheduled flights.
I vaguely remember an Intasun winter “holiday” from LGW to Moscow (SVO?) on an Aeroflot 134 in the early 80s. Interesting full power bleeds-off takeoff, and no PA announcements from anybody even when we passengers realised we’d diverted somewhere very dark and snowy and had been surrounded by armed military. No idea where, and I’m not sure the cabin crew knew either unless their shrugs were Aeroflot SOPs. But a quick refuel and deice followed by an announcement-free hop to destination to start a fascinating vacation.

Return was from Leningrad a week later with an unscheduled but very civilised tech stop in Riga, disembarking for excellent coffee in the terminal while the 134 was serviced. The Leningrad crew were noticeably friendlier.

Intasun did not repeat the package in future winters. One of Harry’s better decisions.
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Old 3rd May 2024, 16:51
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Weren't those Aeroflot charters for escorted ITs offered by the official inbound Soviet tour operator Intourist rather than Intasun? The USSR seems a little adventurous for Harry's pile it high and sell it cheap business model.

Intourist charters operated into MAN and BHX as well as LGW in the 1980s, usually a combination of LED and SVO.
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Old 3rd May 2024, 16:57
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Originally Posted by ATNotts
Weren't those Aeroflot charters for escorted ITs offered by the official inbound Soviet tour operator Intourist rather than Intasun?
Definitely Intasun, ATNotts. I used my staff concession!
Tour guide was Intourist though, a Yugoslav with obvious anti-Soviet disdain.
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Old 3rd May 2024, 17:12
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Seen at Luton in the golden days:
Euravia/Britannia
Autair/Court Line
Dan Air
Air Spain
Aviaco
Adria/Inex-Adria
Transeuropa
Hispania
Balair
Sudflug
Condor
Bavaria
Germanair
Paninternational
Lloyd International
Donaldson
Sabre
TEA
Altair
Tellair
British Midland
Spantax
Europe Air Service
Invicta
Air Ferry
Air Malta
Cyprus Airways
Eurocypria
Channel Airways
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Old 5th May 2024, 07:11
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Torosair (Turkey)
Another one best left to the annals of history. 727s that appeared in increasingly poor condition and which used to stagger off Newcastle’s runway for Izmir and Dalaman. Where most airlines filed flight plans via B1, I am sure Torosair used to be via the A1, A19 and Wetherby services - it seemed to take an age (accompanied by lots of smoke and noise) for the thing to gain any height.
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Old 5th May 2024, 08:52
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Flightrider did they sell the aircraft on to that Columbian outfit whose 727s still appear to rely on the curvature of the earth to attain an airborne state?
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