Capital146
Topic Author
Posts: 2099
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2003 8:45 pm

Air UK - What Might They Have Been Like Today?

Sat Jul 02, 2005 3:12 am

I'm sure many people remember Air UK.

They were one of the major British domestic airlines from 1980 until the mid-1990's, operating a very large network of scheduled services from many UK airports. However, from the mid-1990's onwards, many of the domestic routes were dropped in favour of focussing on european services from it's STN base and continuing to offer the huge number of feeder services from the UK regions to AMS which KLM Cityhopper now provide today. Finally in 1998, with a controlling interest now held by KLM, Air UK was rebranded into KLM UK and soon afterwards, part of the company became the LCC, Buzz.

I was thinking that if Air UK had not had the controlling interest from KL, whether they could still have been such a dominant airline in the UK? Would they have gone low-cost by now, like a number of other carriers have found they have needed to?

I seem to think that FlyBe are in the position now where Air UK could have been, ie operating a comprehensive domestic network, with a number of european schedules thrown in.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?


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Like a fine wine, one gets better with age.
 
JetHost
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:02 am

RE: Air UK - What Might They Have Been Like Today?

Sat Jul 02, 2005 3:16 am

Wow, i didnt even know they exsisted.
Thanks, Philip :)
 
B742
Posts: 3562
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:48 am

RE: Air UK - What Might They Have Been Like Today?

Sat Jul 02, 2005 3:21 am

Yes, I remember when Air UK was around!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they have a connection with Leisure International Airways?

I flew Leisure to Mexico from LGW on a 763 back in the mid 90's!


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Rob!
 
trident2e
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 3:38 am

RE: Air UK - What Might They Have Been Like Today?

Sat Jul 02, 2005 3:30 am

Quoting B742 (Reply 2):
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they have a connection with Leisure International Airways?

Yes, Air UK Leisure was their charter subsidiary but was later sold and adopted the name Leisure International. I flew on one of their 734s from MAN to TFS - I think it was G-UKLH (what a memory, eh!)
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: Air UK - What Might They Have Been Like Today?

Sat Jul 02, 2005 4:31 am

Nice pictures, brings back some memories.

I think that AirUK would have done well, even in this difficult market. My guess is that they would specialize in connecting the regional UK airports with key cities in Europe (AMS was well established - thats why KL wanted them, but UK would have added many other European routes over time) with good frequencies and full inflight service. They would not be an LCC but a reasonable fare full service carrier. If UK was still around, no doubt that they would be taking advantage of BMI's lack of focus and BA's continued focus on London and lack of interest in other UK airports.

My guess is that this airline, if it remained independent, would have gone to ATR72s to replace the F27s, and the 146s would have been phased out in favor of a larger F100 fleet with possibily a few 733s for the highest-demand routes. By now, a second phase of fleet renewal would be underway, the Air UK operation would have been well suited for aircraft such as the new E170 family or CRJ700/900 type of airliners.
 
by188b
Posts: 549
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 10:46 am

RE: Air UK - What Might They Have Been Like Today?

Sat Jul 02, 2005 5:05 am

I loved Air Uk, here's some pics of them in my favourite livery!


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Photo © Derek Ferguson




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Photo © Ian Oswald (via Martin Stephen)




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and here's a pic of Air Uk's short lived partnership with Malaysian Airlines  Wink


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Regards

neil  Smile
next flights : BD LHR-TXL J, FR SXF-STN Y, SN BRU-LHR Y, MA LHR-BUD Y, BA BUD-LHR J, BA LCY-SNN-JFK J, BA JFK-LHR J, BA
 
ciaomc2002
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:40 am

RE: Air UK - What Might They Have Been Like Today?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:03 am

There is nothing I would love more then to set up Air Uk again. If you remember that young lad who set up an airline, using another companies planes between Oxford and Cambridge, he simply used the planes and did the marketing, design, brading etc etc. There is no reason why i cannot do it with the Air UK brand! Money isnt exactly an object.
 
diesel1
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 9:11 am

RE: Air UK - What Might They Have Been Like Today?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:47 am

Regardless of history, I don't believe there would have been an Air UK today.

Given the avaricious nature of British Airways, I'm sure a successful independent carrier like Air UK would have been swallowed up by BA... just happens KLM got there first.
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