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Was The CV990 A Reason For Spantax Failure?  
User currently offlineMontenegro From Italy, joined May 1999, 546 posts, RR: 0
Posted (15 years 10 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 5800 times:

I was reading something about CV990 and I saw that a Spanish charter currier SPANTAX had a dosen of them. Among them also DC10 and DC8 were operated on a extensive route network. Looking for that days I think that Spantax had all the cards to become a BIG AIRLINE, and what has happened? was the CV990 a failure choice?

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Has anybody something about that?

Thank You

Savo, Salerno, ITALIA

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8629 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (15 years 10 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 5720 times:

Their CV990s were very old when the airline got them and Spantax were virtually the last airline to fly them. I wold very much doubt they were the reason for the shut-down, I think the airline had been unprofitable for years. Nice solid aircraft, I bet Spantax never had mechanical delays. This plane was built like a TANK. Wish Spantax had hung in there a few more years so I could hitch a ride on a 990. Oh well.

fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineIlyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (15 years 10 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 5699 times:

Spantax operated the CV990 successfully for several years. The 990 may have been somewhat inefficient, but was mechanically very sound and a tough aircraft to boot.As a matter of fact, one Spantax 990 was involved in a midair collision with a DC-9 in the '70s (not sure of the year) - the DC-9 crashed, while the 990, minus the outer portion of one of its wings and an engine, managed a safe landing at a nearby military base.

I am not entirely aware of Spantax's operations after its 990s were retired, however, they still were flying in the '80s. Perhaps they were bought out, or absorbed by another airline? Anyone know?

User currently offlineFrontierMan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 413 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (15 years 10 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 5691 times:

Those planes ate gas, but gas was cheap. Also when TWA got their convair 880s or 990s they had nothing but problems with them.

User currently offlineCV990A From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1477 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (15 years 10 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5675 times:

Sadly, I think that Spantax was the CV990's last gasp... just too loud and dirty to be operated into the 1990s  

Kittens Give Morbo Gas
User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (15 years 10 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5653 times:

Spantax was much the airline of is founder, Cpt. Rudolfo Bay, an extreme competent pilot and also a great manager. Cpt. Bay bought the CV990 because it was the best available airliner at that time to charter work, don't forget that most of the charter airlines operated 2nd. hand and rather old planes, that's how they started, remember Monarch with those old 720B's? Maersk Air also with 720B's, Conair with even older turbojet 720's? Well Spantax was the same, but we can't say that they were unsucessfull, they did the job well and the airline flew many years around, for me the problem was when Cpt. Rudy Bay left, the master dropped, the airline failled, sadly but Spantax was much builted around the founder.

User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8629 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (15 years 10 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5639 times:

It's true that the airline was never the same after the departure of Rudy Bay, just like Pan Am after Juan Trippe.

Just wanted to say that the 880 and 990 were supremely well-engineered, simple and unbelievably tough aircraft, and the contributor who said TWA had problems with them is right, but that is because Howard Hughes wouldn't make a payment, so his fleet of aircraft were left half built for ages as General Dynamics got on with supplying it's other customers. By the time the eccentric Hughes paid up, the aircraft had suffered from being left outdoors, and there was water damage, and in addition, there was some paperwork lost so it wasn't clear what had been done to which aircraft, as all of them were at a different stage of construction. The aircraft itself was not at fault.

fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 11557 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (15 years 10 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5639 times:

Here in Germany Spantax had a reputation similar to Tower Air today in the US...
There is this funny story of a Spantax Coronado landing in Hamburg - but on the wrong airport. The runway was to short to take of again...

User currently offlineNogueira From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5603 times:

I think the CV990 "Coronado" was an important reason for Spantax failure because they were gas guzzlers. My mother was an Spantax flight attendant (and also supervisor of CV990 ) and she told me lots of things about this aircraft. She liked very much flying it, but they were very noisy and could only carry 149 passengers, all of them in coach class. But it was a very fast airplane, once, it flew from New York to Madrid (Spain) in only 5 hours and 30 minutes when it takes more than 6 hours.
In 1967 Spantax purchased two 990s from American Airlines, eight more ex American Airlines Convairs between 1968 an 1972, one via Modern Air Transport. Another four came from came from Swissair in 1975.
As operating cost continued to grow, the company gradually withdrawn from service the 990 fleet, starting in 1981. Some of them returned to flight status.
Spantax was bought by a financial group that tried to improve the situation of the company, but in May 1988 Spantax collapsed and stopped its operations definitively.
All the CV990 fleet was parked in Palma de Mallorca airport "Son San Juan" and the aircrafts were scrapped, except one of them, the EC-BZO that stills waiting in the military area of the airport, dirtier and older everyday, but is in good conditions yet, and I think is possible to visit if you ask for a permission, maybe some day it could be flown or transported to the Aviation Museum of Madrid.
Anoter reason I think for the Spantax failure was the DC-10 accident in Malaga in 1982 (I have the technical report) because there were many died passengers and people started to see Spantax as an unsafe company.

User currently offlineGreeneyes53787 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 844 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (15 years 8 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 5588 times:

I cannot add to the reason Spantax closed. However, I want to clarify a couple of things. 880s and 990s burned fuel liberally. This is true. But it is not exactly accurate to say they burned alot of gas. They burned jet fuel (mostly kerosine) which is more of a thin oil than a gas. It is similar to diesel oil.

Second, 880s were very loud--outside, but there's probably no current type quieter inside at cruise than an 880. The larger 990 was just as quiet inside. The 990s had a two-tone whistle at idle that distinguished them from other aircraft. They sounded at taxi and idle very much like a C-5. At take-off 990s were farely quiet, not like today but certainly quieter than a 727 in the 1960s. Their fans in the back muffled the decebels down by about the amount of their bypass (about 38%). They just weren't all that loud. They were smokey.


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4573 posts, RR: 31
Reply 10, posted (15 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5577 times:

Spantax were a growing and huge operation in the early seventies... but the downward slope already began around 1975. Fuel prices rose and the economy slipped from 1973, which made the Cv-990s and DC-8s more expensive to operate. But that wasn't the biggest problem; their purchase costs were low.
A second factor was the 'Tower Air' factor; even before the DC-10 crash in 1982, they had about 5 fatal crashes and a lot of other mishaps (as mentioned landing on the wrong airport, but the incident with 10 people dying because of poisoned food on board also hit the papers), so many travel agencies became hesitant to book them.
A third factor was that Captain Rodolfo Bay was friends with dictator Franco. After Franco died, he probably lost part of his credit, because Franco's government could and would organize landingrights and benefits for Spantax, while the new democratic government more tolerated than supported Bay and Spantax.
Spantax was in deep shit already when their DC-10 crashed in 1982. All the earlier crashes which were often blamed on pilot misjudgement (like the Cv-990 in Tenerife 1972, killing 155) were relived again, and many western european agencies cancelled their contracts. Soon afterwards, in 1984, Rodolfo Bay resigned to make way to reorganize the airline, but in the 80s Spantax kept loosing money, and ceased in April 1988.

nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineNogueira From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (15 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5552 times:

That story of a Spantax Coronado landing in Hamburg, but on the wrong airport is true, my mother was in the crew of that flight as supervisor (and is not a joke). The story is this: german press published that Spantax was not a very safe company because their Coronados had fissures in the wings, but that was not true, Captain Rodolfo Bay Wright was annoyed with that new and decided to flight to Hamburg and have an interview with reporters, but captain Bay landed on the wrong runway and on the wrong airport, it was a little one prepared for propellers, tv-press went there and Captain Bay told them he should leave that airport at once and told the reporters if they wanted to fly in that moment, they were warned it was a hard take-off because the runway was very short, but Captain Bay managed to take off safely demonstrating he was an excellent pilot, my mother told me that all the crew was afraid of that take off until the plane was up. Finally he landed in the correct airport and had the interview. Press observed that the Coronado was in good conditions. By tha way, planes maintenance was made by swissair.

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