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Air UK - What Might They Have Been Like Today?  
User currently offlineCapital146 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 2125 posts, RR: 44
Posted (9 years 4 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3716 times:

I'm sure many people remember Air UK.

They were one of the major British domestic airlines from 1980 until the mid-1990's, operating a very large network of scheduled services from many UK airports. However, from the mid-1990's onwards, many of the domestic routes were dropped in favour of focussing on european services from it's STN base and continuing to offer the huge number of feeder services from the UK regions to AMS which KLM Cityhopper now provide today. Finally in 1998, with a controlling interest now held by KLM, Air UK was rebranded into KLM UK and soon afterwards, part of the company became the LCC, Buzz.

I was thinking that if Air UK had not had the controlling interest from KL, whether they could still have been such a dominant airline in the UK? Would they have gone low-cost by now, like a number of other carriers have found they have needed to?

I seem to think that FlyBe are in the position now where Air UK could have been, ie operating a comprehensive domestic network, with a number of european schedules thrown in.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?


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Photo © Gary Watt - AirTeamImages



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Photo © James Gardner



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Photo © Toni Marimon




Like a fine wine, one gets better with age.
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJetHost From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3671 times:

Wow, i didnt even know they exsisted.


Thanks, Philip :)
User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3768 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3662 times:

Yes, I remember when Air UK was around!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they have a connection with Leisure International Airways?

I flew Leisure to Mexico from LGW on a 763 back in the mid 90's!


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Rob!


User currently offlineTrident2e From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3660 times:

Quoting B742 (Reply 2):
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they have a connection with Leisure International Airways?

Yes, Air UK Leisure was their charter subsidiary but was later sold and adopted the name Leisure International. I flew on one of their 734s from MAN to TFS - I think it was G-UKLH (what a memory, eh!)


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3603 times:

Nice pictures, brings back some memories.

I think that AirUK would have done well, even in this difficult market. My guess is that they would specialize in connecting the regional UK airports with key cities in Europe (AMS was well established - thats why KL wanted them, but UK would have added many other European routes over time) with good frequencies and full inflight service. They would not be an LCC but a reasonable fare full service carrier. If UK was still around, no doubt that they would be taking advantage of BMI's lack of focus and BA's continued focus on London and lack of interest in other UK airports.

My guess is that this airline, if it remained independent, would have gone to ATR72s to replace the F27s, and the 146s would have been phased out in favor of a larger F100 fleet with possibily a few 733s for the highest-demand routes. By now, a second phase of fleet renewal would be underway, the Air UK operation would have been well suited for aircraft such as the new E170 family or CRJ700/900 type of airliners.


User currently offlineBY188B From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 710 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3568 times:

I loved Air Uk, here's some pics of them in my favourite livery!


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Photo © Derek Ferguson




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Photo © Ian Oswald (via Martin Stephen)




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Photo © David Unsworth - WorldAirImages



and here's a pic of Air Uk's short lived partnership with Malaysian Airlines  Wink


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Photo © Fred Seggie - WorldAirImages



Regards

neil  Smile



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User currently offlineCiaomc2002 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3446 times:

There is nothing I would love more then to set up Air Uk again. If you remember that young lad who set up an airline, using another companies planes between Oxford and Cambridge, he simply used the planes and did the marketing, design, brading etc etc. There is no reason why i cannot do it with the Air UK brand! Money isnt exactly an object.

User currently offlineDiesel1 From UK - Wales, joined Mar 2001, 1638 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3389 times:

Regardless of history, I don't believe there would have been an Air UK today.

Given the avaricious nature of British Airways, I'm sure a successful independent carrier like Air UK would have been swallowed up by BA... just happens KLM got there first.



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