Yes it is good to see them still flying, I hope it works, but experience has shown that with all good intentions, old equipment, and old large equipment on charters has been the undoing of many an operator. I still think the paintjob like on the B737s would have looked far better.
There is just too much black on one of them tail end.
Let's hope history doesn't repeat itself
Air Europe early 1990s with the leased Tower Air B747-100s
Tower Air B747 charters recently failed
Air Club International, Nationair - Canada
B747 charter operators failed
Excalibur changed direction in 1996 to do long-haul using second hand DC-10-30s,
went tech a few times, mass media attention, loss of public confidence, airline failed.
Caledonian, TriStars 25 yrs+ old also ex BA, multiple technical failures on intensive utilisation charters developed that airline a bad reputation.
As for Sabre, totally agree, 727s that were worked too hard, could no longer keep up the pace.
IMHO from what I have seen of Excel (just responding to your little dig - not that I've an axe to grind) they have made the right choice of equipment and their leased B767-200ERs are capable of MCO, if and when that company decides it would like to operate them on long haul routes. Full marks to Excel for meeting their promises and being sensible so far and from what I can see - and others - out performing more established charter carriers.
BTW I've flown on two of the B747-200s when in BA service and they were in poor condition then, unserviceable toilets, unserviceable IFE, condensation problems, broken seatbacks. All observed on a SEA-LHR flight in Economy. I only hope that European invest a sizeable amount in aircraft/cabin upkeep as otherwise it could possibly be their undoing. The charter flying public are more discering than ever.
Just remember like old lady's generally, they need care and attention throughout their journeys.
I wish the operation every sucess, it will give a lot of pilots and cabin crew desperately needed jobs.
But at the end of the day if one of them goes tech, then it's going to be difficult to mop up the mess. "I'll have 450 beds for one night please", "certainly that will be £12,000".