Capital146
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Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 3:07 am

I had many holidays during the 1980's where we flew from LBA or MAN on Orion's 732's. Does anyone else have fond memories of them? From my childhood memories the cabin crew always went out of their way to be friendly and an invite to the cockpit was always made inflight over the PA system. Invites to the cockpit may now be a thing of the past but they still put many of todays charter airlines to shame.

Orion Airways were based at EMA and started operations in 1980. In 1984 they became the first airline in Europe to introduce 733 services. They were eventually merged into Britannia Airways in 1988 after Orion's parent group, Horizon holidays, were bought out by BY's parent, Thomson holidays. At the time of the merger Orion were operating 732's, 733's and A300B4's.

Does anyone else have fond memories of Orion Airways?


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Eldoylio
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:45 am

Hi Capital146, another stirling topic I see.

I remember when I was 8 being taken to Portugal and Menorca with Orion. Those are fond memories.

Although I do remember once being stuck in the back of the smoking section. That was not very pleasant. The crew were always very friendly and generally made the whole experience great. Gosh I can even remember the Humpty-Dumpty coloring books they would give out to all the kids.

Now there is a blast from the past.
Q. How does an A340 gain altitude - A. With the curve of the Earth
 
richardw
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:50 am

I flew Orion EMA-TSF in 1988 and paid £39 return it was my second flight. It was a great flight.
 
by738
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:50 am

When I first starting spotting in the mid 80's, I remember getting excited by seeing Orion 737's at Glasgow on a Saturday. A real change from the BY 737's and MON 737's we used to get all the time. Can't even remember where they operated to from GLA in those days...anyone remember ?
 
babybus
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:22 am

I was a ramp officer that had to deal with Orion on a daily basis.

Working with the A300 was a constant nightmare, no one could be sure how many seats there were onboard, although the a/c was very comfortable and the staff were quite nice.

They also had the best in-flt sweets too. I used to stuff my pockets with them when they landed.

I think they always had technical problems with their 737's as there was always a sweaty crew up front and lots of secret whispering about delays.

I'm afraid compared to the other charter carriers I worked with at the same time, Orion didn't rank too highly in my opinion.

Still miss those sweets though!

and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
ACEregular
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:36 pm

I heard it was Orion that pioneered inflight entertainment aboard their aircraft. In UK charter anyway. Only after Orion were taken over by Britannia did the service on Britannia improve as they took a lot of the Orion ideas on board. Making Britannia a very credible and household airline. Unfortunately of late I think they have been trading on the name Britannia and not delivering the service.
 
CV990
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:42 pm


Hi!

Yes I remember well Orion. Beautifull livery and nice airplanes. I remember when they started flight to LIS with the 737-200. I don't recall seeing the 300 and the Airbus. But during that time liveries were beautifull. I also remember almost at the same time seeing Air Europe starting flights too to LIS. Again very nice livery in the 737-200.
Regards
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
 
flyba
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:32 pm

My first trip to the US was on Orion Airways in 1987 on a 747-100. It was my first ever transatlantic flight and looking back in comparison to today, I was quite fortunate for it to be on a 747 (a proper wide body aircraft - non of this 767 non-sense of today!)

It was probably my most memorable flight ever being my first time on a 747. I remember walking up the spiral staircase and having a tour of the first class lounge upstairs - which was being used as a crew rest on this flight. I remember there being monitors overhead downstairs above the aisle however there was no inflight entertainment at all for the whole flight. I remember the meal was chicken curry. Other details are a bit sketchy - it was 17 years ago after all!

The flight was to good old MCO (not Sanford like the charter's of today). I can clearly remember the palm trees and small 'lakes' in between the taxiways as we taxied to the terminal and seeing a PanAm 727 for the first time.

A truly memorable experience.
 
antonovman
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:39 pm

Flyba
you got your wires crossed somewhere
Orion airways never operated 747 and never did long haul work
they had b737 and a leased A300
 
MYT332
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:58 pm

Looks like they werent that crossed?


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flyba
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:08 pm

MYT332 - thanks ever so much, it's really struck a nerve - I never thought I would see that aircraft again!!!! It's made my day! I'm sure I have a picture of it somewhere at home as well.

I can clearly remember seeing it at Stansted on the apron as we parked the car. I was so excited!
How ironic the aircraft being an ex-PanAm aircraft - I always wanted to fly on them however never got the chance - looking back I suppose I did in a way.....

I wonder what has happened to the aircraft - is it in a cargo role now?

P.S: I have checked my date - I flew on the aircraft in July 1988, not 1987.

[Edited 2004-03-01 13:11:40]
 
trident2e
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:15 pm

I remember them well. If I recall correctly one of their 737s (a -300 I think) had a sticker applied that siad 'Boeing's 737th 737'.
 
CKT789
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:13 pm

Just to clarify, Orion Air were a US charter airline that were around for a couple of years doing transatlantic charters into Stansted.

Orion Airways were a UK based charter airline operating to the usual sun spots around the Med.
 
ACEregular
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2003 8:00 am

RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:19 pm

Yes I picked up on that too. They were not one and the same.
 
KA501
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:23 pm

Know they operated the first B737-300 on the British register and the first ever type visit int Manchester.
 
hammerb32
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:24 pm

My first flight was on an Orion B732 from EMA to Malta back in the 80's, it was a real shame when they were merged into BY and an even bigger one when the A300 went - that was a fantastic looking plane
 
flyba
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:33 pm

After doing some searches in the database and noticing the livery differences, I had a feeling Orion Air And Orion Airways may be different. I remember the LionAir titles quite clearly on the tail however I thought Orion Airways may be the real name for the airline after seeing this thread, which it wasn't.... - confusing isn't it!!!!

You must admit, easy to make the mistake, same time period, both charter airlines. After all, wasn't US Airways was once known as US Air?
 
Capital146
Topic Author
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RE: Orion Airways: UK Charter Airline From 1980's.

Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:12 am

Trident2e,

I remember them well. If I recall correctly one of their 737s (a -300 I think) had a sticker applied that siad 'Boeing's 737th 737'.

I flew on this particular aircraft back in 1984 on PMI-LBA. The aircraft was one of their 732's. It was even better than just a sticker applied, it actually had a plaque mounted as you entered the cabin stating that that it was the 737th B737 built!

Babybus,

They also had the best in-flt sweets too. I used to stuff my pockets with them when they landed.

I almost mentioned that in my original post! Glad somebody else remembers that!  Smile The crew would come through the cabin prior to take off with a little whicker basket filled with the boiled sweets asking passengers to help themselves. Fond memories!

Like a fine wine, one gets better with age.