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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 1st May 2024, 08:30
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British and European charter airlines from days past...

Today is 1st May and traditionally marks the start of the summer season for the UK IT companies and, of course, the associated airlines. I'm just taking a moment to remember those airlines that have passed into history:

Monarch
Orion
Hispania
Air Atlantis
Air 2000
Dan Air
Aviogenex

The above is just a handful, from a time when British airports saw a wider variety of aircraft and airlines than now😕.
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Old 1st May 2024, 08:35
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Off the top of my head I'll add:

Court Line
Britannia
B-Cal

Plenty more too, I think.
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Old 1st May 2024, 08:45
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Off the top of my head, Gatwick charter/supplementals in the mid 70s also included Europa, Transeuropa, Laker, ONA, Capitol, Inex Adria, SATA, SAM, CP Air, Wardair, TIA, World, Spantax... Happy, colourful days...
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Old 1st May 2024, 08:46
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Spantax, and their 990's !
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Old 1st May 2024, 08:51
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Here are a few more:-

Spain

Aviaco
Air Spain
Spantax
TAE

Yugoslavia

Inex Adria
Air Jugoslavia (Charter subsidiary of JAT)

Italy

SAM (Charter subsidiary of Alitalia)

Portugal

Air Columbus

UK

BIA
Ambassador
Peach Air
Airtours International
Airways International Cymru (Subject of another thread)
Donaldson International
Lloyd International
Paramount

USA (If Affinity Group Charters / Advance Booking Charters qualify)

Trans International
Transamerica
Capitol
Rich International
American Trans Air

Canada (as for USA)

Wardair
Nationair
Canada 3000
CP Air

That'll do for now. Others will have plenty more (rog747?).
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Old 1st May 2024, 08:57
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How about Air Europe
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Old 1st May 2024, 17:02
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Ones I actually flew with on charters (and, I think, in date order of first time) :

Cambrian *
Wardair
Dan-Air
Austrian Air Transport
Britannia
B Cal Charter
Orion
Monarch
Sabre
Air 2000
Thomas Cook
Jet2

Only one remains

* : On their first ever One-Eleven charter
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Old 1st May 2024, 19:06
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I'll add Kar-Air.
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Old 1st May 2024, 19:17
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Add for the UK (and some are the same companies just under different names)
Air Manchester
Air Scandic (with the Finnair A300B4)
Air UK Leisure
Airworld
Astraeus
British Airtours
Cal Air
Cougar Aviation
European Aviation Air Charter
Excalibur Airways
Flightline (which flew for Palmair and Flightline Alpine)
Flying Colours
Flyjet
GB Leisure
Inter European Airways
International Airways (dubious TriStar ex Air Ops Europe, which itself was dubious)
JMC
Leisure International
Mediterranean Express
Novair
Princess Air
TBG Airways
TEA UK
XL Airways

Plus several more such as Globe European which never got started (MAN-based 737s), AV8 Air (virtual airline but never got its own AOC to fly the 757 it had taken on).

BritishJet wasn't technically an airline and was either Maltese or Swiss depending on which way you look at it, but had "British" on the side of the aircraft!

Spantax deserves the already-made honourable mention. Who could ever forget once you'd seen them in action

Other Spanish entries could include Lineas Aereas Canarias (MD83 and the dubious Argentinian 727), NortJet, Canafrica > Oasis International (with the AeroCancun machine) and Viva Air which flew as a charter airline for a while.
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Old 1st May 2024, 20:47
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British Eagle
British World
British Air Ferries
British United
Caledonian
Air Bristol
Orientair, ( never started ops.)
Autair, (became Court Line)
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Old 2nd May 2024, 09:23
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Mooncrest ; I think you deliberately missed out AIR EUROPE knowing it would get me started ! Thanks to friend & colleague, Brakedwell, we got a look in.

Quite right about the season start of May 1st. Fun bit was that we were full pax out and, of course, no-one down route to bring back. Empty sectors ; pure joy for operating crew. In the really old days, stories of all sorts of hanky-panky going on !

AE was exposure to the fact that the season started on May ist but worse, ended in September. Empty out and bring back the last lot of the summer season. My first roster in 1979 showed no flying whatsoever in October. Chief Pilot told me to enjoy the ret and paint the garage doors. Pure IT stuff looked like winters would be bleak. We soon got into winter IT and the garage doors never got painted.
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Old 2nd May 2024, 13:27
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Originally Posted by Beamr
I'll add Kar-Air.
Kar Air were a bit like the Austrian Air Transport entry in my list, just a "virtual airline" for marketing (and possibly licensing) purposes, as an offshoot of the national carrier, using their aircraft and crews for charters in marginal time. Sometimes with aircraft with their titles added, sometimes not.

BOAC did the same thing as "BOAC Limited" in the 1970s when charter carriers were picking off significant long-haul loads, with all-economy configured somewhat surplus 707s. They were mixed in operation with a couple of BOAC scheduled routes which used all-economy aircraft, particularly Toronto (which was also a mainstream charter destination for them).

BEA did things quite differently, and set up BEA Airtours (later British Airtours and later again Caledonian) as a fully independent operation at Gatwick - except that in the winter off-season one of their principal uses was being chartered back to the mainstream carrier at Heathrow, particularly when more than once there were major problems with the Trident fleet there. There were also holiday charters all along by the mainstream BEA/BA fleet from outstations like Newcastle or Edinburgh, with overnight charters to the Med and back of nightstopping aircraft.
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Old 2nd May 2024, 14:30
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Before it was Inex Adria it was just Adria with a fleet of DC-6Bs. Trans International became/renamed Transamerica.
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Old 2nd May 2024, 14:37
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Originally Posted by WHBM
Kar Air were a bit like the Austrian Air Transport entry in my list, just a "virtual airline" for marketing (and possibly licensing) purposes, as an offshoot of the national carrier, using their aircraft and crews for charters in marginal time. Sometimes with aircraft with their titles added, sometimes not.
Wasn't the DC-8 operated seperately from Finnair in full own colours on charters. And also the DC-6 freighter?

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Old 2nd May 2024, 15:23
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In West Germany there was:-
Pan International
Bavaria
Hapag Lloyd
Germanair

Switzerland:-
Balair
Phoenix

Ireland:-
Translift/Transair

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Old 2nd May 2024, 15:41
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Last edited by GROUNDHOG; 2nd May 2024 at 16:10.
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Old 2nd May 2024, 18:29
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I don’t see Mytravel (and Mytravel Lite) in the above lists
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Old 2nd May 2024, 18:52
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB
Wasn't the DC-8 operated separately from Finnair in full own colours on charters. And also the DC-6 freighter?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/swbkcb/3531776330/
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 ...
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Old 2nd May 2024, 19:04
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Such passionate responses. I deliberately listed just a few former IT airlines in my original post, mainly because there are/were so many of them but also to provide others on the forum with the opportunity to come up with their own examples. This has duly happened!

We have seen so much change in twenty or so years. Take Manchester Airport for example. Four airlines clearly dominate there now; TUI, easyJet, Ryanair and Jet2. British Airways once proudly called Manchester its second home. Air Europe, Dan Air, BIA, Monarch are all gone. Thank goodness we are, by and large, seeing consolidation rather than contraction. It's just lost some of its magic. Same at Leeds Bradford, aka Jet2 central. I'm so pleased we were able to host Monarch in her final years, as well as so many other loved and lost contemporaries. Not always based but gracing the concrete nevertheless!
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Old 2nd May 2024, 21:13
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I thought they’d all been covered but Balkan Bulgarian should get a mention. Tu154,s around the country from 1 May. Sunday Bourgas and Saturday Varna.

edit - not a charter carrier but brightened up the day. Also made it a lot noisier!
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