Matt D
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Sun Dec 21, 2003 3:56 pm

These are or were some pretty sharp looking airlines. Any information on them would be welcome.


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Photo © Brian Peters
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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.




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Photo © Remi Dallot



 
Jaspike
Posts: 4843
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:40 pm

RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Sun Dec 21, 2003 6:52 pm

That Britannia livery was great! The site's http://www.britanniaairways.com.

The livery then became:

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Photo © Tony Silva - Madeira Spotters



And now it's like this:

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Photo © Derek Pedley



Shame  Sad - but it's still a great airline, and still officially called Britannia Airways (BY).

Josh
 
VCE
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RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:51 pm

Air Europe it's now part of the Italy's Volare Group.
 
David_itl
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RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Sun Dec 21, 2003 9:59 pm


Very potted history:

Air Europe were formed around 1978 or so with a few 737s. They had some kind of leasing agreement with Air Florida: winter saw Air Europe's fleet go to Florida and winter saw some Air Florida in the UK.

They received 733s around 1987, took on 757s and flew to MCO. They expanded into scheduled services out of LGW, ordered FK100s and MD11s - the latter for proposed long-haul services from LGW + MAN. Along the way, they set up Air Europa, Air Europe Italy, Air Europe Scandinvia (rebranded Norwegian Airlines?) and acquired NFD of Germany (rebranded AIr Europe Germany). The holding company became known as Airlines of Europe.

All came to an end in 1991, though towards the end they were using a leased 747 operating charters to BKK.

David
 
Capital146
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RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Sun Dec 21, 2003 10:53 pm

Orion Airways were based at East Midlands airport and commenced services in 1980 from a number of UK airports to the usual Mediterranean holiday destinations using 737-200's.

In 1984 the airline became the first airline outside the US to operate the 737-300. Around this time they also acquired a pair of A300B4's (from Hapag Lloyd I think?) which operated out of Gatwick and Manchester.

In 1988, the airline's parent company, Horizon holidays, were acquired by the Thomson group (which owns Britannia Airways) and Orion were amalgamated into Britannia with the A300's sold off immediately and the 737-300's soon after.

I flew with Orion many times during the 1980's and they were a very good airline, they even owned the 737th B737 built!
Like a fine wine, one gets better with age.
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Mon Dec 22, 2003 12:57 am


In addition to what David_itl said, the Spanish member of the Air Europe consortium, Air Europa, became independent when the consortium failed and continues to fly today.

Nuernberger Flugdienst (NFD; "Flying Service from Nuremberg" would be the literal translation) nearly folded due to their involvement with Air Europe. They were bought by Regionalfluggesellschaft (RFG; "Regional Airline" - us Germans are pure geniuses when thinking up brand names...). Officially it was a merger among equals and became Eurowings. Eurowings started as a fierce LH competitor, co-operating with KL, NW, AF, and AZ. Then, as recent as two or so years ago, LH bought a stake in EW, and now the Eurowings brand will disappear, giving way to "Lufthansa Regional". A 100% spin-off from EW is low cost airline germanwings (4U).

Daniel Smile
 
airchabum
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RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Mon Dec 22, 2003 2:57 am

In addition to what David said, Air Europe were set up by tour operator ILG (I think they owned the Intasun brand?) by their owner Harry Goodman to be an in-house charter airline. When BA took over BCal in 87 they applied for several of the former BCal routes from LGW (along with Dan-Air) and had intentions of becoming a major scheduled operator.

The end came at the time of the first Gulf War when one of their major creditors decided not to lend them the money to see them through the winter. The same thing was to befall Dan-Air 2 years later.
Biggidy biggidy bong
 
CKT789
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RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Mon Dec 22, 2003 4:45 pm

Did the MD-11 that Air Europe order ever appear in those colours?

I think one of the problems with Air Europe was that they overexpanded and with the Iraq War, it all got a bit much.
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Mon Dec 22, 2003 5:06 pm

One of the largest problems Air Europe faced was very tough competition from British Airways (some would go as far as to call it dirty tricks). Among other things, BA were accused of accessing Air Europe's bookings, hosted on BABS (British Airways Booking System), and thus targeting their pricing to undercut European. These were the same things BA was accused of doing to Virgin Atlantic at the same time.

V/F
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
diesel1
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RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Mon Dec 22, 2003 10:14 pm

Good thread and some good info - here's a couple of corrections and some additional information...

Matt D... the Air Europe DC-10 (OO JOT) shouldn't really be there with the rest of the Air Europe pics as it operated for Air Europe Italy, who as VCE said, became part of the Volare group - great pic all the same, I didn't know there had ever been a DC-10 in Air Europe c/s and I thought it was a fake when I first saw it. (Similar sort of comment for the B767 too, not really the same airline)

DavidITL.. the 747 was leased from Tower Air (so probably a classy a/c!), Air Europe terminated the lease agreement early I believe due to some cracks being found on the a/c.. not sure where though.

Capital146.. the Orion A300's were ex Lufthansa (Dan Air had the ex Hapag Lloyd a/c), when they first flew with Orion they were still in LH c/s with Orion titles

Also the ex Orion B737-300s, although they didn't stay with Britannia for long, some (all?) were repainted into BY c/s

I can remember both Air Europe and Orion operating through CWL - Air Europe was one of the main operators with intensive summer programmes featuring over the years 200/300/400 series 737 and occasional 757 flights (often on services to Florida). I remember the 747 visiting on a diversion to CWL too not long before the lease was ended

Orion were less frequent vistors to Cardiff, operating on W patterns, though I think they had a small based programme in the late 80s operating for a tour operator during the winter

Britannia of course are still operating through CWL, with an all year round programme of flights
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CKT789
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RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Mon Dec 22, 2003 10:21 pm

As I remember the Tower Air aircraft leased to Air Europe only had Air Europe titles. The remainder of the livery was white.

Also, as well as Air Europe, there was also Air Europe Express (formed from Guernsey Airways), which became Euroworld after the collapse, then Cityflyer Express and then incorporated into BA.

Also, the norwegian arm of the "Airlines of Europe" carried on flying as Norwegian Airways for a bit after the collapse with 2 733's. They just flew charters but the airline only lasted a couple of years.
 
BestWestern
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RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Mon Dec 22, 2003 10:23 pm

Many of the staff from Air Europe UK - started City Flyer Express, the ATR operator ex LGW which became a BA franchisee - which was in turn bought by BA - and closed down.

CFE was a prime example of how a franchise should work - and was extremely profitable for both BA and the owners. It was also an example of how to best run a regional fleet of ATR's for marginal operations, and ARJ's on trunk routes.

You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
airchabum
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RE: Air Europe, Orion, Brittania

Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:26 am

Here's the Air Europe 747 in one of those rare moments when it moved! It wasn't the original 'Flying Pig' (that was a 747 that Airtours operated) but it was often referred to as such due to it being tech half the time.


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Photo © David Unsworth

Biggidy biggidy bong

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