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New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"  
User currently offlineJmc777 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 234 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 4524 times:

Does anyone know anything about this new airline?

I went to the website and got background info, but the site hasn't been updated since June 2000. I e-mailed the CEO with some questions but got a rather abrupt response saying that all the info was on the site and well...it isn't.

If anyone has any further insights as to when they will be starting up could they let me know!! I know they anticipated taking all of Delta's L1011's and some from Kitty Hawk but I've no idea if they actually have an AOC yet.

Cabin crew positions seem okay, with some opportunity to be based overseas for a while, but again no hard info. I have scoured every airline magazine I can get my hands on to no avail....HELP!!!!!!!

Thanks everyone


52 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineG-BEAK From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2000, 168 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (14 years 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 4291 times:

I only know what I've seen on the webpage. I like the idea of TriStars but they should be at Glasgow not Prestwick. Also I can't actually believe that someone is considering basing an airline in the West of Scotland with the word 'Celtic' in the title. It might be 'keltic' as opposed to 'seltic' but I doubt that will make much difference to approx. 50 % of the population who will probably refuse to travel on it! Its a recipe for disaster. Being of the Bluenose persuasion myself, I can't say I'm happy at the prospect of my beautiful TriStars having that plastered all over them!

User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (14 years 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 4246 times:

Don't worry too much. The whole thing looks like a very haphazard operation anyway. Getiing 44 thirty year old Tristars and wet leasing them to airlines that don't exist anymore?? I'm not to optomistic.

User currently offlineTripl7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 4230 times:

I wonder how many of the 264 odd tristars built are still around. Get prepared for long delays, pax !

User currently offlineJet Setter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (14 years 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 4231 times:

Don't see any reasons for the operation to fail, the airline appears to be intending to operate in a similar vein to Air Atlanta, operating large aircraft on ACMI leases to various airlines around the world on short and long term contracts. This type of work is profitable, because the aircraft are used to assist airlines that have short-falls in capacity, and the lessor is able to charge a higher price, as the airline requiring the aircraft doesn't have much choice if they are to avoid disruption to their schedules.

As for the aircraft being old, It doesn't really matter. Utilisation will not be as high as regular airline operations, so there will be plenty of time to keep the aircraft well maintained to ensure reliability.

Main bases will be Glasgow/Prestwick and Shannon.

I have also heard a rumour the airline plans low-fare scheduled Trans-Atlantic operations from Prestwick and Shannon to Portsmouth and Sanford in the USA. Portsmouth is the "low-fare" airport for Boston and Sanford is served by UK Charter airlines as an alternative to Orlando. The routes would be conditional on Ryanair providing feed at PIK/SNN and Pan Am providing feed at SFB/PSM.


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 5, posted (14 years 1 week ago) and read 4217 times:

You tell 'em, G-BEAK. It would cause a bit of a Sturm over here. They'd better not use any Il-62s! But I'd have thought you would have been more of the Bluebeak persuasion.

User currently offlineEyeSky From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (14 years 1 week ago) and read 4214 times:
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User currently offlineG-BEAK From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2000, 168 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (14 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4184 times:

David L - I can just imagine it. Glasgow Fair Weekend, long flight delays, an untypically boiling hot Scottish summers day, Rab C Nesbitt style clones in their new strips (both teams), alcohol being consumed, a bit of the usual banter, tempers beginning to fray and then suddenly ... a green and white TriStar emblazoned with the word 'Celtic' appears. 50% start gloating and start shouting about IL62s (or something similar) to the other 50% who start shouting they won't go on that plane even if they are paid to. Before you know it you have riots, air rage and total mayhem. Anyone in a position of authority in the vicinity whether referee or airline captain may find themselves requiring pound coins extracted from their heads! Not my idea of a 'profitable operation'.

To anyone not following this, let me explain briefly. In Glasgow there are two football teams Rangers (simply the best one) and Celtic (the other one). They aren't exactly keen on each other and the majority of Rangers fans (approx 50% of the population) would refuse to go anywhere near a plane with the name 'Celtic' (same works vice versa). Therefore its maybe not the best idea anyone has ever come up with.

Anyway I thought Celtic already had an airline - Aer Lingus!

User currently offlineBrissie_lions From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (14 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4188 times:

Guys, what you really should do is go to http://www.pprune.org and do a search on Celtic. You need a post from around 4/5/00

It turns out the guy who is forming this *airline* (Neil Robertson - The Guvnor) answers quite a few questions, and not really to the satisfaction of some people there.

The founder of Celtic has also been involved in failed ventures in the past, most recently, City Connexion Airlines and Africargo (both based in Burundi).

Wouldn't hold my breath on seeing this one taking off, especially when employees are required to invest in the company, and if training is needed, they have to pay for that as well.

I give Celtic Airways two thumbs down.



User currently offlineAerLingus A330 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (14 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4186 times:

Hey Brissie, this new airline that is destined to fail could use some "US alliances".

I was thinking of three, maybe four. How about Eastern, Pan Am, Valujet, or Air Florida?  

User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 10, posted (14 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4172 times:

And I can just see the tower surrounded by hordes dressed in red, white and blue shouting "Hey, ATC, are you blind? That plane passed the holding point ages before you cleared it!" I wonder if they'll be allowed to fly their scarves from the windows.

Still, should generate a bit more business for the red, white and blue of BA and British Midland.

If any of the "other half" are out there, it's just a bit of fun otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned the Il-62s, obviously!  

User currently offlineSamurai 777 From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 2458 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (14 years 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4151 times:

I honestly don't know everything about starting and running such risky airline ventures like Celtic, but what about the so-called fuel crisis affecting the UK and the EU?

If fuel prices stay at present levels, wouldn't an airline with even a used L-1011 or two become really unprofitable due to higher fuel burn rates than newer a/c with similar capacity such as the A330-300(?) or the 767-300 and higher fares resulting in lower pax yields? I do unsterstand that it's common for many charters to take on older a/c because they're often cheaper to buy and they don't use such planes as much, so there is more time to maintain them, as Jet Setter said.

User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (14 years 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4157 times:

Actually, we are very confident it will be successful. Allow me to clear up a few misconceptions posted here:

1) Celtic Aviation was a codename we (ie management) selected for the project. We felt that 'Newco' was a bit passe. We have selected operational names which will be announced in the near future.

2)JMC777 - I do apologise for the abrupt response, but I get around 150 emails a day. If you have any specific questions, please email me again.

3) G-BEAK - little problem with GLA which you as a former L1011 crew member should remember .... GLA's runway is a lot shorter than PIKs. With PIK, we can get out at MTOW with all of the aircraft, even the -22B powered ones. PIK is also more accessible to the rest of Scotland (and northern England) than GLA is; they offer FREE rail and coach travel throughout Scotland to pax on new scheduled services for the first year of operation; and a 50% rebate thereafter. Parking is also a lot cheaper than GLA! Finally, there's a free coach link to Glasgow Central. With all that, who wants to use GLA?? 

4) Trip17 - there were 250 L1011s built, not 264.

5) Brissie_Lions - dunno where you get your info mate, both CCA and Africargo are alive and well. We will have training bonds, so no, you don't have to pay for training. Two thumbs down for you, matey!!  

6) The L1011's RB211-524B4s burns 10 - 15% LESS fuel than the DC10-30's CF6-50C2s. The higher the price of fuel, the cheaper the aircraft gets for our clients.

User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 13, posted (14 years 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4124 times:

All joking aside, I have reasons to be glad to see more heavy traffic at Prestwick so good luck to you.

User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (14 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4113 times:

I think this is a first, an airline CEO responding to critisism and chat about his airline! Thank you Mr. Robertson for coming here and talking to us, it cetainly is an honor as you have made something materialize many on here have only dreampt about for years.

Could you perhaps, give us a more in-depth report on progress? I see the Tropical Airlines deal, have you locked up any others? Who is Tropical? How many "10"s have you acquired?

Many thanks in advance,


PS: I'm sure your busy putting your venture together, but if you could, would you tell a little about AfriCargo and the other Burudi airline under your administration?

User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (14 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4124 times:

We're concentrating on the acquisition of our first aircraft at the moment - more on that hopefully next week - and will then progress from there through the KHI aircraft to the Delta fleet.

Unfortunately, Tropical were unable to fulfil their side of the contract and did not pay the required deposits. This caused us to breathe a sigh of relief, as the aircraft we were going to acquire for that were grossly overpriced and were in poor condition - and would consequently have had to have had substantial investment made in them.

Africargo operates the last two airworthy CL44D4s and a 707 as required. At present, the CL44s are on lease to an airline in the DRC. Its website is at http://www.africargo.com/

City Connexion Airlines (ICAO = CIX/IATA = G3) operates LET410UVPs; and has a website at http://www.cca-airlines.com/

User currently offlineAirCanadaSFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (14 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4112 times:

Ceilidh wrote:
5) Brissie_Lions - dunno where you get your info mate, both CCA and Africargo are alive and well. We will have training bonds, so no, you don't have to pay for training. Two thumbs down for you, matey!!

HAHAHAHAHA! This Brissie lions guy just got shot down by the CEO of the company!!!!! That is awesome. We should get Jim Goodwin or Don Carty in here.... or Leo Mullin so we can tell him how crappy the new Delta colors look and hear what he has to say.


User currently offlineBrissie_lions From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (14 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4125 times:


I am merely going upon information which I have had relayed to me by people in the UK who have dealt with you. I took it as fact, but if I am wrong I am wrong. However I was told that you were run out of Burundi by the Government. Can you please tell us what the deal with CCA was? I did hear the Burundi Government nationalised. Is that correct? And why would they do it? Do you still have a connection with CCA and Africargo? If not, why not?

You seem to know a lot about the business, and have a business plan, but can you please explain to me where you plan on obtaining the money to purchase these L-1011's. Do you really expect to fund this purchase by employees putting up their own money? (as I have heard, please correct me if I am wrong). And as someone else has asked. Who exactly are Tropical Airlines? I can say I have never heard of them.

Any information and corrections you can provide is appreciated.


User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (14 years 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4114 times:

Brissie - Obviously the people in the UK who 'dealt' with me didn't!!   No, I was not run out of Burundi by the government - they did try and nationalise the various operations of TGZ Group - an Antwerp based precious metals trader which owns City Connexion as well as a bank (African Bank of Commerce) and a gold trading company (Affimet). A quick review of the CCA website will confirm all this.

In May last year, having done a deal with them to put Africargo's CL44s on their AOC and register one there (s/n 25, 9U-BHI), I was invited by the Group Chairman, Tony Goetz and his son Alain - who headed up the Burundi operations - to come in as CEO and make CCA into a 'real' airline, which I proceeded to to. I organised membership of the Multilaterial Interline Traffic Agreement with IATA; IATA designator and accounting codes, SITA and GDS memberships, and teh various print and other documentation requirements.

In February of this year, I left Burundi as planned to set up the European L1011 project, which I'm currently working on. A couple of days after I left, the government made a move to nationalise the various TGZ companies; but I understand from Alain Goetz that things have been resolved with the government. I remain the nominal CEO of CCA, although day to day operations are run by Claude Piquard.

I also continue to own Africargo, which is my personal operation; and I own the two CL44s operated by it in partnership with a Briton resident in South Africa and a New Zealander. These aircraft are on wet lease to a DRC airline.

The funding for the L1011 purchase and refurbishment will be coming from a number of sources; primarily investment firms and high net worth individuals who enjoy a 'punt'.

Again, your information that we expect employees to fund the company is completely wrong - we will be operating an ESOP to which all employees will belong (including myself and the rest of the management team) but obviously by that time we'll be up and running, with the primary funding fully in place.

Tropical International Airways is a St Kitts domiciled carrier which wishes to operate from STN to BGI and on to Brazil.

Your apologies are accepted! Now, who were these people in the UK? Feel free to email me with their details.

User currently offlineG-BEAK From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2000, 168 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (14 years 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4063 times:

Mr Robertson,

I do ever recall claiming to a former crew member. I don't know if you are confusing me with someone else.

Who exactly pays for the free rail travel? Am I correct in thinking it is not actually the airlines concerned but Prestwick Airport or the local council offering it as an incentive? Whoever it is, I suggest they buy themselves their own trains. I do not have a problem with free rail travel as long as it does not involve the current rail service from Ayr - Glasgow. I travel on this service and I am fed up of having to pay full fare and not only be unable to have a seat but also be unable to find enough floorspace to stand up because the train is full of Ryanair's "free" passengers and their luggage. Some of these people seem to have more excess baggage than passengers of Aeroflot or Nigeria Airways. Presumably the majority of your passengers will be using this train as they will need to go via Glasgow regardless of where they are travelling on to. The trains cannot cope now without up to another 400 passengers.

User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (14 years 4 days ago) and read 4052 times:

Ms G-BEAK - sorry, I assumed you were probably cabin crew, probably ex Caledonian.

Actually, Stagecoach owns Prestwick Airport - they also, as you well know, own numerous coach companies as well as interests in rail operations. They therefore already own the trains that these passengers are travelling on!  If you're travelling from Ayr, I can't see what the problem is as you're joining the train long before PIK.

You'll also recall that I said that the free travel only applieds to the first 12 months - thereafter they have to pay 50%. So, Ryanair's "free" passengers are still paying!

I used to run a cargo operation in Nigeria and we made lots of money carrying WT's excess baggage, so I know what you mean!

We intend to operate a daily service from PIK to SFB and 3 times weekly to each of PSM and YHM. During the peak season, we'll probably at least double the SFB services; as well as operating charter services from PIK to Spain, the Med, North Africa and Caribbean. Target is to have 6 L1011s based ex PIK next summer if possible; which would equal probably 20 or so departures a day from there.

However, we'll tell Stagecoach they need to add more carriages to cope with all of those pax!  

User currently offlineF_boot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (14 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4039 times:

Quite a few misleading statements in the postings of ´Ceilidh´. For interest do an historical search of pprune.org on the Rumours&News and Africa forums for postings from ´The Guvnor´.
Just a quick precise: Africargo is a virtual airline, existing only on its website which has not been updated in over 1 year. It has never operated any aircraft. The CL44´s are owned by Trans Lloyd Cargo/Skymaster Freight and have never had any connection with Africargo.
Yes ´Ceilidh´ did work for CCA, and yes he was instrumental in acquiring their international memberships. However his performance there was less than satisfactory. In personal communications Mr.Goetz has advised that NDR ¨cost us a lot of money¨.
It is very difficult trying to compose this in a non-flame manner, however ´Ceilidh´ has made claims that must be interogated.

User currently offlineCapt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (14 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4030 times:

Gosh, it's a while since we've had some high-profile gossip around here! 

User currently offlineTeahan From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 5294 posts, RR: 61
Reply 23, posted (14 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4033 times:

I back Ceilidh (The Guvnor) on this one. I have seen him poast on several local boards and I trust him 100%. He is a trusted person. Africargo is real Its weird that its often these people on there first post that attack good trusted users!

Jeremiah Teahan

Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
User currently offlineF_boot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (14 years 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4024 times:

Real? Sorry this virtual airline has never operated. It claims to have operated B707, C130, CL44, L1011 but never backed this up. Mr Robertson claims degrees for himself, and again fails to provide coroboration. I don´t deny that he can talk-the-talk, but try to find some substance behind it.

25 Post contains links and images Brissie_lions : I hope when you say "punt" you mean people who like to make an Irish pound, coz "punt" here in Aussie means the same thing, I am sure, as in Scotland,
26 TWAneedsNOhelp : all I can say is wow!
27 Post contains images Ceilidh : All that I can say is that unlike certain people here - eh, Freeboot/Freenum (to name but two of this character's PPRUNE identities) I'm up front with
28 Vauxhall Cross : Those that can, do; those that can't, just tell tall tales. Beware of the stories you tell about yourself Ceilidh.
29 Post contains images Ceilidh : You appear to have been banned, Vauxhall Cross!
30 Craig : Hi Ceilidh, I just want to say Good Luck to your new airline and I'm sure it will be a success. I am quite looking forward to a new airline based at P
31 Gunpowder : Teahan Dont be fooled by the profiles of any of the posters on this thead, the whole subject has been laboriously disected on PPRuNe and all the same
32 David L : If Ceilidh wasn't such a difficult word for "foreigners" to pronounce (it's pronounced "Cailey", not "Seelidhuh"!), it would be a great name for the a
33 Post contains images Ceilidh : David L - just for the benefit of the non Celts here, a Ceileidh is what's colloquially known as a 'really good p*ss up" Gunpowder - I know; it's that
34 Brissie_lions : Neil Do not think for one moment that I do not hope your airline is successful, coz I hope it is. However, as you say, nothing is guaranteed in this b
35 Teahan : IL96's cost 76 million with European avionics and engines not 35 million! Jeremiah Teahan
36 David L : "a 'really good p*ss up'". Hmm, you're right, I was thinking of its formal meaning, rather than what it actually is! Another advantage of Prestwick, o
37 Brissie_lions : Jeremiah. I didn't say Il-96s with European avionics did I? An Ilyushin Il-96-300 with PS-90A engines cost $33 million. This is based on an order for
38 Teahan : It is actually 76-78 million from the latest airliner world! It is more than double of the cost of a IL96 300. It is still half the cost of an A340 or
39 Post contains images Ceilidh : Scott - first, to answer your question of "why L1011s" - the answer is simple. They were - and remain, probably the the best built widebodied aircraft
40 Post contains links Brissie_lions : G'day Neil The following information has been published by Flight International in their world airline census' The 1995 Airline census (published 5-11
41 Post contains images Jmc777 : Well what can I say, thanks to all who ansered my questions, especially the CEO Mr Robertson, and I most definitely will e-mail you again with my CV.
42 Post contains images Ceilidh : Scott - Lionair Limited was indeed a properly incorporated company (registered in 1992 in fact) and as you seem to be well aware, I spent a great deal
43 Brissie_lions : Neil Before I take in all of this what you have just written, I do have a couple of things to say. As I said first-up, your name is well known around
44 TWAneedsNOhelp : Neil, I'm, for one, quite impressed with your forthrightness regarding you past business dealings. You know of course, you have every right not to be
45 Post contains images Ceilidh : Scott - you're asking some awfully personal questions here! Some clarification - and reiteration. We're looking at acquiring several packages of aircr
46 Brissie_lions : Neil You mentioned Skypower Express as being one of the best airlines on the continent. A quick background check on this airline brings up nothing but
47 Granite : Hi all Well this might offend the guys that have started the airline but any airline that starts up using old aircraft is on to a looser, especially i
48 Post contains images Gunpowder : Granite Then again, maybe it's just a Scottish problem, Virgin started off with a well used 747 and made good, so perhaps it's the legendary Scottish
49 Post contains images Ceilidh : Scott - You asked about management - they have the most experienced management team, with their CEO being a former BA regional manager. On the safety
50 Post contains images Granite : Hi Ceilidh I have to admit that I cannot think of any successful Scots airline starting up with new aircraft. There was a rumour many years ago about
51 Post contains images Ceilidh : Gary - how on earth could I refuse an offer like that...> No, I don't remember Scotair ... what was the story there?
52 Post contains images Granite : Hi Ceilidh I cannot remember the full story on Scotair, but the story cropped up just after the demise of Highland Express. One of the Sunday newspape
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