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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 5th May 2024, 09:07
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Interesting comments re Toros Air. While the plane looked a wreck and Iíd never have got on it they did soldier on for a few years.

i remember waiting at NCL on one of the May bank holidays in 1988 for the first planned Talia Airways flight from Izmir which would have been the first Turkish airline Iíd seen at Newcastle but it never arrived. I think a nesu air tu134 turned up a day later instead before Toros took over. (NB many years later the internet helps explain what happened to talia)


another charter airline to add to the above : TUR European. Another Turkish 727 operator used to see TC-TUR every week at NCL in 1990.

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Old 5th May 2024, 15:50
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One of the better looking Toros Air 727s just pushing back out of shot as the two Dan-Air 146-100s met again for the mid-morning changeover. The 727 just heading off to unleash much noise and smoke on the unsuspecting residents of High Callerton. This must have been a Monday in Summer 1988 - flight TAY122 to Izmir (IGL) for Intasun although I don't remember seeing the Spantax 767 or Worldways DC8-63 also listed as visitors for Newcastle on Mondays that year!
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Old 5th May 2024, 16:41
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Cool - flightrider!

I think you must be going from airport timetables U.K? TAY was the talia flight but became TAU (Toros). Spantax had gone bust and their Monday flight was actually a Caledonian Tristar and Fridayís became an Air Europa 757. Worldways were definitely there - may have also been a Tristar that year.

another ďholidayĒ carrier was Trans Ocean in 1989. dC8ís from around the U.K. to New York. Horrible
livery if I remember correctly!

30 plus years later and I still remember!

went past the airport this morning and the Ryanair/jet2 didnít have the same excitement! Admittedly there is a lot more choice now but thatís the trade off!
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Old 5th May 2024, 18:11
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Yes, I was looking at the ATUK. That explains the Air Europa 757 picture I had but wasn't listed.

TransOcean DC8 - aah yes, that'll be this then! Looks like one of those made-up airlines from Die Hard 2 or Airport 1979. Pushback on 4 August 1989 at Newcastle - I had the date written on the back of the picture for that one. Weekly Newcastle-Prestwick-JFK charter for American Airplan, so ATUK lists:
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Old 6th May 2024, 07:19
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Originally Posted by Flightrider

TransOcean DC8 - aah yes, that'll be this then! Looks like one of those made-up airlines from Die Hard 2 or Airport 1979. Pushback on 4 August 1989 at Newcastle - I had the date written on the back of the picture for that one. Weekly Newcastle-Prestwick-JFK charter for American Airplan, so ATUK lists:
TransOcean was previously the quite substantial USA charter operator Gulf Air Transport. There's one of the 1980s JP Airline Fleets annual books with a front cover picture of the substantial Gulf turboprop fleet all lined up, all in this yellow over blue livery. When they started these Transatlantic charters with ex-SAS DC8-63s there was ATC confusion over their "Gulfair" callsign with better-known Gulf Air, not previously an overlapping issue, and the name was changed. The DC8s came at the end of their operations, only lasted one year on the Atlantic ABC charters I think. The aircraft pictured was converted to a freighter and then lost in a mishandled go-around at Toledo.

Gulf/TransOcean were also leasing at that time 727s to Air Malta for summer seasons, which, US-registered, turned up at UK airports.
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Old 6th May 2024, 09:49
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Great picture flightrider. Iíve only got one when it was at the end of the pier and with a 1980ís instamtic itís not very clear!
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Old 6th May 2024, 14:29
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Laker liker

Not seen Laker on any lists.
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Old 6th May 2024, 14:42
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Originally Posted by South Side
Not seen Laker on any lists.
Mentioned by me at #3...
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Old 6th May 2024, 16:38
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Laker's charters somehow seem to get forgotten nowadays, but it was a significant and much longer lasting part of the business, both holiday flights which they did from the start, and also affinity, later ABC long haul flights. The later Skytrain was just a fraction of the operation.
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Old 6th May 2024, 17:37
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Vague recollections of Air Inter and ACI Caravelles at Gatwick. Pretty sure I actually caught an Air Inter Mercure there once.
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Old 6th May 2024, 18:09
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How about Alidair?

I think they were EMA based, I remember their Viscounts working through Ringway on summer Saturdays. They might also have had a 1-11?
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Old 6th May 2024, 18:46
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Yes, Alidair would definitely qualify for a mention here - although I don't think they ever had a 1-11. Viscounts on charter certainly - including a very lucky escape near Exeter in 1980 after being "clocked" on fuel delivery at Santander and fuel gauges U/S. Not unique to older aircraft - U/S fuel gauges were the cause of the Air Canada 767 Gimli Glider episode only three years later with a brand-new aeroplane!

Pictures & write-up here.
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Old 7th May 2024, 11:08
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Originally Posted by treadigraph
Vague recollections of Air Inter and ACI Caravelles at Gatwick. Pretty sure I actually caught an Air Inter Mercure there once.
These French Caravelles commonly turned up in the 1970s-80s associated with the various Rugby Internationals; presumably if at Gatwick then France were playing England at Twickenham. The game seems more popular in the south-west of France, with charters from points like Toulouse.

I recall in the 1970s the same happening at Edinburgh with Scotland against France. I went out to Turnhouse to see three Caravelles parked there for the day. Apparently I was several years too late to have seen the same invasion by Lockheed Constellations. Shame ! I guess the same happened at Cardiff as well.

Regarding the Mercure, Air France used to have a multi-daily operation from Paris to Gatwick, run by various types but one was scheduled to use an Air Inter Dassault Mercure, for whatever reason. It seemed to go on for quite some time around 1990. I suppose that technically it was a subcharter from Air Inter to Air France.
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Old 8th May 2024, 09:15
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What about LBA based:
Metropolitan Airways
Brown Air
Capital Airlines
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Old 8th May 2024, 09:15
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LAKER; Still at school while big Sis joined Fred on Brits. She seemed busy all year round rather than "seasonal" as Mooncrest alluded to in his opener. Her most disliked was the "Night Nikers" (LGW-Nicosia-LGW).

Much later, I too served Fred. Joined on the 1-11. All charter. All year round. Loadsa Mill stuff . Thought I would be LGW Based but it was one week outa Manch, two days off, one week outa Berlin, two days off etc. Hardly ever saw Gatters.

Very clever chap was our young Fred. All year-round flying, fingers in all pies. It is why I was so disappointed in joining Air Europe on the 737,day one, to discover the "season" would be May ist to September 30th...then;.....nothing ????

Young Harry was clever too. It was soon all year round charters for everyone and the least was for the 'in house' Intersun.
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Old 8th May 2024, 09:26
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I am not sure if I can include Cargo Airlines, but there was Trans Meridian and I A S, (with 4 DC8's and two Britannias).
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Old 8th May 2024, 14:08
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Originally Posted by OwnNav
What about LBA based:
Metropolitan Airways
Brown Air
Capital Airlines
May be proven wrong but I believe those three, along with another, Gill Air (not LBA based though) that springs to mind were 100% scheduled PAX with perhaps a few Royal Mail contracts at one time or another.
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Old 9th May 2024, 09:29
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Great stuff !

Sadly all we have left today in the UK as a pure charter flight airline is TUI.

Titan and Jet2 do perform charter flights for a number of small Tour Operators such as to the Gambia, Lourdes, Corsica and Sardinia (and for SKI and Cruise companies, such as for Hurtigruten to Bergen)
BACF perform a lot of weekend charter flights (away from LCY) from airports all over the UK, IOM and the C.I's to the Med and the Lakes and for Ski resorts in the winter.

Enter Air are frequent in based flying out of the UK Gatwick for Mark Warner, and Sunvil Holidays to Greece and the islands.

Similarly in Europe the true core charter airlines have all demised with few left.~ In Germany we have Condor, still a strong brand, plus TUI (was Hapag Lloyd)
In Scandinavia and the Nordics we have TUI Fly Nordic, and Sunclass (whose roots stem way back from Scanair and Conair)
Jettime, DAT Danish Air Transport, and SAS and Finnair fly many charters (Novair/Apollo have just closed down)

In Spain there is Alba Star, but Air Europa do not now fly many IT charter flights as their core business.
In Austria only Austrian fly the charters.
In Italy you have Neos.

TUI of course have airlines in Belgium and Holland.
DUTCH CORENDON.

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Old 9th May 2024, 10:31
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Brown Air
Capital Airlines
Yes Brownair was scheduled operating LBA-OSL and FRA. I joined to fly the Gulfstream 1 but, after delivering it across the pond, ended up on the Cessna 441. The G 1 spent a year in the hangar getting the CAA mods by which time I was off to Fraggle rock!
​​​​​​​Capital grew out of Brownair when they expanded later on..
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Old 9th May 2024, 12:00
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Metropolitan Airways
Brown Air
Capital Airlines
None were charter airlines as such. Metropolitan was Bournemouth-based although did have a crew base at LBA when they took over the Glasgow service from Dan-Air. As noted earlier, Brown Air became Capital. The latter ran some weekend charters for Intasun with its 146s from LBA and MAN but it was hardly a charter airline.
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