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-   -   Boeing 737-200 'Holiday Jets' (https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/640618-boeing-737-200-holiday-jets.html)

GBYAJ 27th May 2021 19:22

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....7160416e2.jpeg
NCL airport movements 1987. BA 737 from Palma first arrival
of the morning which is what I thought 😹

GBYAJ 27th May 2021 19:27

BA 737’s from NCL. Airport Timetables UK which was the definitive source at the time definitely showed Friday to Gerona, Saturday Palma and Sunday Ibiza. Perhaps they didn’t operate but the above suggest they did.

flash8 27th May 2021 19:54


154's to the Med?
Not to the Med I'd imagine? but certainly to the Black Sea resorts, with Balkan on charter?

Flightrider 27th May 2021 20:19

Must be true! I'd only got the 1982-85 and 1988-onwards books with gaps for 86 and 87 and this mayfly is from 1987. That's quite a Sunday - CalAir DC10, Air Atlantis, Adria, Aviogenex, Universair .... how times have changed.

Sotonsean 27th May 2021 21:14


Originally Posted by flash8 (Post 11052610)
Not to the Med I'd imagine? but certainly to the Black Sea resorts, with Balkan on charter?

Slightly off topic, but.

​​Balkan Bulgarian Tupolev 134, Tupolev 154 to Burgas, Sofia and Varna
Tarom Tupolev 154, Ilyushin II-62, BAC 1-11, Boeing 707 to Bucharest and Constanta.

WHBM 27th May 2021 21:41

Somehow the 727 and 737 threads seem to have been mixed up here !


Tarom Tupolev 154, Ilyushin II-62, BAC 1-11, Boeing 707 to Bucharest and Constanta.
Sometimes all on the same series as loads rose and fell through the summer. Tarom seemed to enquire how many were booked and only send out an aircraft that was appropriate. Well into the 1980s you might even get an IL-18 turboprop for the first/last runs of the year.

Senior Pilot 28th May 2021 11:39


Originally Posted by WHBM (Post 11052661)
Somehow the 727 and 737 threads seem to have been mixed up here !

What a pain!

I think I’ve transferred all relevant posts back and recreated the 727 thread, but if any posts here need shifting then please let me know and I’ll get it done next time I check in.

Apologies for the blunder: I’ll have the relevant Mod given night shift for the remainder of the month, pus a new pair of spectacles :rolleyes:

(He is recovering from a serious eye infection, and made a genuine mistake reading the thread titles :( )

Mooncrest 28th May 2021 11:43

Thankyou, Senior Pilot.

Braathens and Mey Air were both early 732 customers. Were their aircraft the Advanced variant or the initial version ?

diffident 29th May 2021 02:37

Can anyone enlighten me on the 737-200 that was leased from Britannia to Copa, that went down in the Amazon in the early 90's? It was featured on a BBC documentary at the time which I have on video tape, but was never able to identify the 737-200 involved?

WHBM 29th May 2021 03:25


Originally Posted by diffident (Post 11053332)
Can anyone enlighten me on the 737-200 that was leased from Britannia to Copa, that went down in the Amazon in the early 90's? It was featured on a BBC documentary at the time which I have on video tape, but was never able to identify the 737-200 involved?

It was G-BGYL, new to Britannia in 1980, so one of their newer ones, sold in April 1992 to COPA of Panama as HP1205, lost just 6 weeks later on 7 June 1992, in climbing out from Panama City, not the Amazon.

ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-204 Advanced HP-1205CMP Tucutí (aviation-safety.net)

Control differences between Copa's established 737 fleet and the new acquisition were one of the issues identified.

rog747 29th May 2021 08:55

Balkan and Sunquest Holidays were the Majors back then for the Black Sea resorts and IL-18's of both Bulair and Tarom were first used on those charters from the 1960's.
Tarom's charter arm LAR also used the BAC 1-11 400.
The other British Tour Operators used mainly Dan Air Comets.

rog747 29th May 2021 09:27


Originally Posted by Mooncrest (Post 11052966)
Braathens and Mey Air were both early 732 customers. Were their aircraft the Advanced variant or the initial version ?


Braathens, and Britannia, both had at first from 1968 all early models and were not the ADV.

ADV models came along from Q2 1971 I think from c/n 400>

Mod kits and better engines, -9A or -15 were available for existing operators of the -200 to allow for performance improvements.
For the new model ADV other engines were optional JT8D-15 or from 1974 the -17

BY's new ADV models started from 1973 with G-BAD G-BAZ and G-BEC all with -15's, being the engine of choice for most charter airlines.

Mey Air ceased by 1974 - their 2 were ADV with -9A engines from Q4 1971


WHBM 29th May 2021 09:40


Originally Posted by rog747 (Post 11053460)
Braathens ...

When I was in Edinburgh in the 1970s the university (and to a lesser extent the city) had a special relationship with Norway, and there were over 100 students from there.

Every start and end of term, Braathens did charters from Oslo to Edinburgh for them. At first it was one of their DC-6Bs, which had to do two round trips, and spent the best part of a day doing so. Eventually it was changed over to a 737, which just did one trip, sufficiently fast that it could be squeezed in between an early morning Norwegian domestic return pair and a late-lunchtime IT flight to Spain, the latter seeming to be pushed back a couple of hours. A very good example of the increase in efficiency the likes of a 737 brought along.

GBYAJ 29th May 2021 12:53


Originally Posted by Flightrider (Post 11052625)
Must be true! I'd only got the 1982-85 and 1988-onwards books with gaps for 86 and 87 and this mayfly is from 1987. That's quite a Sunday - CalAir DC10, Air Atlantis, Adria, Aviogenex, Universair .... how times have changed.

Quality not quantity back in the 80’s at NCL! Didn’t even notice the Cal Air DC10. Following year it didn’t operate though instead 4 x BY737’s (back on topic) flew to TFS over the weekend instead (Iirc).

from the 727 thread, remember going to the airport early Friday morning to see the TUR 727 and RAM 732 in 1990.

rog747 29th May 2021 14:21

[QUOTE=GBYAJ;11053565]

Originally Posted by Flightrider (Post 11052625)
Quality not quantity back in the 80’s at NCL! Didn’t even notice the Cal Air DC-10. Following year it didn’t operate though instead 4 x BY737’s (back on topic) flew to TFS over the weekend instead.

The Following Summer 1988 posed huge changes at Cal Air (which was started in 1982 as BCAL Charter, jointly owned 50-50 by BCAL and Rank) as British Caledonian was bought by and merged into British Airways and Cal Air International was of no interest to British Airways who had their own Charter airline British Airtours

The Rank Organisation decided to buy the other 50% share making it their wholly owned Airline subsidiary.
This created a problem as the name 'Cal Air International' along with the Lion rampant logo on the tail, and its Air Hostesses wearing Tartan uniforms, was too close in image and style to the new British Airways Charter Airline Caledonian Airways (1988) which was now the new face of British Airtours

It was decided that the company would change its name and logo yet again. Various names were considered, however, it was set to become Novair International Airways
The livery was adapted to take in the new name and a huge blue shooting star was emblazoned on the tail fin. Call sign was STARJET
Novair went on to add 3 new Boeing 737-400 to its fleet of 3 DC-10's.

The airline was always fighting for Charter contracts, and was up against ever decreasing passenger numbers, in addition to which the Rank organisation was losing interest in its Travel/Aviation subsidiaries.
Unable to find a suitable buyer, Novair ceased operations on 31 March 1990 and was soon wound up.
The DC-10's going to FedEx and the 737's to British Midland.

The following year saw the failures of both Air Europe and BIA and ailing Dan Air was also soon bought and merged into British Airways.
Ironically BIA in 1989 were in serious negotiations to sell to ILG (Air Europe) but the deal fell through.
The 1990's depression, The Gulf War, and ever rising Jet Fuel prices all were major factors.

The UK Charter Airline industry had really started to change with only the Major players that would eventually be left in the field.

Today however, we see only only one of those left in the UK - TUI Airways - morphed from Britannia, Orion, Air 2000 and Leisure International.
XL Airways nee Sabre Airways, having already fallen in 2008, with Monarch to go under in 2017.
Both failures at the time much larger than the Court Line collapse in 1974.

Caledonian, Flying Colours, Airworld, Airtours International, IEA, Conair and Scanair having all morphed into Thomas Cook would spectacularly fail in 2019.
But, Condor, still a strong German brand managed yet again to survive, and Sunclass Airlines emerges from Thomas Scandinavia re-discovering its former Scanair roots and Viking identity.

kenparry 29th May 2021 15:22

The aircraft that COPA crashed was leased from, not sold by, Britannia. I remember the event all too well. The company FSO went out to Panama to join the investigation, and came back with grim tales of arriving at the wreck in the jungle with the crew still in situ.

Mooncrest 29th May 2021 15:37

I wondered about the Norwegian 732s as both airlines appeared at Leeds Bradford every now and then, before the runway extension was built. I don't know the destinations of either Braathens or Mey Air from LBA but I would guess not too far away for Braathens if they were flying early-build aircraft. Aer Lingus' early 737s were OK as they were only making the short flight to Dublin.

TCU 29th May 2021 18:39


Originally Posted by flash8 (Post 11052610)
Not to the Med I'd imagine? but certainly to the Black Sea resorts, with Balkan on charter?

flash8....see my post nr.52.....always worth reading the thread from top to bottom

Mooncrest 30th May 2021 10:05

The range of the 737-200 astounds me, even now. I remember Dan Air and Britannia, among others, used to send theirs from the UK to the more distant Greek Islands. Some family members flew from Manchester to Kos with Britannia in '86 - their ride was G-BADR, an early Advanced model for the airline with the relatively low-thrust engines.

rog747 30th May 2021 10:21


Originally Posted by Mooncrest (Post 11053962)
The range of the 737-200 astounds me, even now. I remember Dan Air and Britannia, among others, used to send theirs from the UK to the more distant Greek Islands. Some family members flew from Manchester to Kos with Britannia in '86 - their ride was G-BADR, an early Advanced model for the airline with the relatively low-thrust engines.

All of Dan Air's 732's had -17 or -15 engines,
and Britannia's first group of ADV models delivered from 1973 (G-BAD G-BAZ and G-BEC series) had also -15 engines (some or all though may have had -9A's at first?)
Britannia did many upgrades to the 732 fleet.
Mey Air had -9A's. (more powerful)

What was astounding how both Laker and Cambrian managed a BAC 1-11 300/400 from LPL or MAN to LPA/TCI RHO and HER often non-stop both ways.

ATNotts 30th May 2021 11:04


Originally Posted by WHBM (Post 11052661)
Somehow the 727 and 737 threads seem to have been mixed up here !

Sometimes all on the same series as loads rose and fell through the summer. Tarom seemed to enquire how many were booked and only send out an aircraft that was appropriate. Well into the 1980s you might even get an IL-18 turboprop for the first/last runs of the year.

We flew LGW / CND on a Tarom 154, but returned, much to my delight, two weeks later on an IL62, my only ever flight on one (I never got to fly on its cousin, or was it aunt, the VC10!). Obviously I can't make a comparison between the '62 and VC10 but I recall the IL62 being very smooth in flight, and had surprisingly pleasant interior décor which was in good nick. A much better machine from a passenger perspective than the TU154.

Apologies for thread drift!!

Mooncrest 30th May 2021 12:24


Originally Posted by rog747 (Post 11053974)
All of Dan Air's 732's had -17 or -15 engines,
and Britannia's first group of ADV models delivered from 1973 (G-BAD G-BAZ and G-BEC series) had also -15 engines (some or all though may have had -9A's at first?)
Britannia did many upgrades to the 732 fleet.
Mey Air had -9A's. (more powerful)

What was astounding how both Laker and Cambrian managed a BAC 1-11 300/400 from LPL or MAN to LPA/TCI RHO and HER often non-stop both ways.

According to G-INFO, BADR had the 9A engines, whereas BADP had one 15 and one 15A. Does anyone know if it was possible to uprate the removed 9As to type 15 or 17, or even vice versa ? I know with at least the 737-300, the CFM56 can be altered from B1 to B2, which I think might be a reprogramming job rather than a mechanical one. But I'm no engineer so I'm probably wrong.

I never knew Tarom flew IL62s. The Boeing 707 was their long-haul ship.

Flightrider 30th May 2021 16:30

Yes, you could upgrade engines. The initial four Britannia 737-200s were delivered with -9 engines and G-AVRN - the one which served for the longest with Britannia - was upgraded to -9A through time. If I remember rightly, one Dan-Air 737-200 flew for several years with a -15 engine on one side and a -17 on the other, although I'd imagine they would have had to treat that as a -15 aircraft for performance calculations.

For the range and capability, bear in mind that there have been many changes over years to standard passenger weights, the level of reserve fuel required to be carried and airfield performance safety margins. The regs still permit IT charter standard passenger weights to be differentiated from scheduled ones, but both sets of figures have gone up quite substantially in the last two decades. If you took yesterday's aircraft and applied today's performance rules to them, a lot of things that used to take place would either be impractical with a viable payload today or just wouldn't happen at all.

treadigraph 30th May 2021 18:48


Originally Posted by Mooncrest (Post 11054042)
I never knew Tarom flew IL62s. The Boeing 707 was their long-haul ship.

They had five, pretty sure I saw them at Heathrow on occasion.

WHBM 30th May 2021 20:13


Originally Posted by treadigraph (Post 11054199)
They had five, pretty sure I saw them at Heathrow on occasion.

Tarom, strangely, bought 3 new 707s, 2 secondhand ones from Pan Am, and three original IL-62, all at the same time in 1973-75. Just a couple of years later when the substantially revised IL-62Mneo (:)) came along they got 2 of those as well. A surprisingly eclectic purchasing policy. Maybe their fleet planning director later went to Thai Airways. All of these lasted until after the fall of the socialist regime in the early 1990s. It was common for some to be leased out, as they seemed to have far too many for their needs. However, for this thread, they never got any 737-200s.

rog747 31st May 2021 09:58

Tarom used almost anything on their IT charters IL-18, 1-11, IL-62, TU-154, and 707's to LGW, MAN, BHX, and LTN...Rather like JAT Charters used 707, 727, DC-9 etc

On the scheds into LHR again one saw many of Tarom types used over the years including 707's.

My last 737-200 flights were all from Mykonos to LGW I think, and they all stopped at ATH to fuel up and even cater - Caledonian and GB Airways Leisure flights,
plus a Britannia 732 on a 4 day jolly out to IBZ - was on an old one - single galley at front and a great Hot breakfast.
All of these were in the early 1990's.

Most memorable 737-200 flight -
Air Lanka 1980 CMB-Maldives-CMB on their then new once weekly flight to a tiny white coral strip now known as Male Velana International Airport (or the Heathrow of the Indian Ocean)
Flying low over the stunning blue atolls and tiny islands was amazing - Skipper was an Ozzie and let me sit in the flight deck for landing to this beautiful paradise.
Had 3 magical weeks on a tiny desert island in a thatched hut for USD15 Full Board per day...
Booked my flight with the lovely CMB town office manager lady for who had worked for BOAC & Air Ceylon (just changing to Air Lanka) and she gave me an ID50 firm staff travel to stay a week - I ended up staying 3...
Sitting on the beach one day I was startled by an LTU Tristar flying past the lagoon at around 500 feet buzzing the islands after take off going back to Germany.
Seems this was a favourite jaunt of LTU's to show off the islands to the passengers.
The LTU crew all stayed on Bandos where I visited for a day boat trip from my island.


WHBM 31st May 2021 11:16


Originally Posted by rog747 (Post 11054540)
My last 737-200 flights

On reflection I think my last one was on Ryanair.

Remember a Prestwick-Stansted sector with them, very high frequency in the 1990s but now lost completely, with a Yugoslav skipper, who hand flew a hold in IMC approaching Stansted so precisely that 2 minutes later we banged through what I think was our own turbulence.

Discorde 31st May 2021 12:32

Performance was limited on the early Britannia 732s (Basic airframe, -9 engines). For example LTN-CFU-LTN was often a 4-leg day (tech stopping VCE both ways). Two of these aircraft were convertible passenger/freight config. The strengthened floor and cargo door gubbins added an extra tonne to the empty weight so payload capability was inferior to the rest of the fleet. If memory serves:

Typical empty wt: 29T, convertibles (GAXNA & 'NB) 30T
Typical landing wt: 42T (130 pax)
Basic –9 max T/O wt: 49.4T (GAVRL & 'RM) or 53.0T, but sometimes reduced by factors such as runway length, air temp and barometric pressure

Max T/O wt for later Advanced -15 732s was 55.1T, greatly increasing range.

thegypsy 1st Jun 2021 12:20

Yes your memory serves you right. I got landed with taking one of the B737 freighters the night of the hurricane that Michel Fish mentioned from EMA to AGP. And looking at charts a 80 it headwind meant we had stop for fuel.I elected to stop at LGW for a quick refuel as we had engineers there. Could not believe but they over fueled by 800 kgs so we had a huge delay and had to offload catering and bars.
Whilst all this was going on wind increased,temperature rise significantly pressure dropped like a stone and eventually we set off with a very tough turbulent flight.
On way back to EMA weather there 40kts down runway but LGW was unbelievable around 80kts from around 230degrees I seem to remember.

I wrote all this down on voyage report and could not believe later on Fleet Captain asking why the catering and bars were left off.!!!
I referred him to my report.

pax britanica 2nd Jun 2021 12:29

I used to go to Faro every summer from 1994-2001. Latter trips on (T) AP from LHR, one in Air Macao colours earlier on a variety of charters including Ambassador and Sabre . Having come back from 3 years in Stockholm, with lots of travel on pristine Scandi MD80s, the 737-200s from Gatwick were very shabby looking. On one trip- Sabre I think we sat by the wing leading edge, no slat extension before leaving gate, same during taxi, down to the country end of LGW same during holding point wait , same as we started taxying onto runway and I was getting really rather anxious when at last they appeared. I often wondered if it was an SOP with them , can't think why. or they just forgot. I felt very anxious as wife and children with me and was really close to sticking my hand up and saying -ER Miss...... I think this was actually my first trip on a real independent charter airline

Of all the parties liseted on thes eposts I recall BA Airtours 707 400 LHR-FAro out , shuttle configured Trident 3 back.
Out and back LHR-faro on BA Tristar
LGW_FAO Sabre/Ambassador out Monarch 757 back
LGW Montpellier Dan air Comet
ARN- Faro DC10 Sunair (SAS spin off)
LGW-Athens Laker BAC1-11 , along way on one of those .

Other than Faro I never went to any classic sunshine destination although some of these flights were certainly 'unsocial' hours and in the end we decided that a few extra pounds for LHR-Faro on AP at a decent time of day was worth the extra .


turbine100 7th Jun 2021 09:48

European Aviation Air Charter Bournemouth had the 737 200 , perhaps late 90's / early 2000's.

Mooncrest 7th Jun 2021 12:08


Originally Posted by turbine100 (Post 11058250)
European Aviation Air Charter Bournemouth had the 737 200 , perhaps late 90's / early 2000's.

Mainly, if not wholly, ex-Sabena and Sobelair aircraft.

SpringHeeledJack 7th Jun 2021 13:33

Were they the ones with a white fuselage and a red tail with white writing ? If so, I used to see them all around back then, no doubt doing ad-hoc substitution flights for other scheduled airlines.

Quietplease 7th Jun 2021 17:18

Did a few holiday charters with BA 737-200 at LGW. The most memorable was a sub charter for Britannia. First flight of the ski season to Toulouse so a quick turnaround with round trip fuel and empty back to LGW .
Britannia station manager brings me the loadsheet and says we are all set to go .
Uneventful flight back. As we are heading away in the crew transport I looked back to see the loaders hard at work off loading lots of bags and skis. One could only guess at what went on at Toulouse as a 100 plus skiers waited in vain for their baggage.




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