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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:14 pm

Inspirations Dragged Down Caledonian?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:24 pm

I remember when Caledonian was owned by BA and they consistently were a profitable, high quality, well-regarded charter airline. They had a fleet at the time of modern 757ERs and wide bodied L1011s and DC10.

Then BA found it difficult to fill Caledonians seats profitably, as mosre and more large tour operators were using their own in-house airline and BA thought the best thing for Caledonian was to sell it to a tour operator so it would have the protection of a vertically integrated operation.

So fast-growing tour op Inspirations bought Caledonian and it became the in-house airline of Inspirations. One of the first things they did ( I believe a mistake) was to return the leased 757s to BA and instead place 3 320s into service with CKT which had been destined for Inspirations paper airline, International airways.

Omce Caledonian got hold of CKT the quality seemed to slip sightly. Delays caused mainly by the ageing L1011s became more frequent and Caledonian came to have a reputaion for unreliability.

Caledonian then created Peach Air to operate some of the Inspirations flight programme not covered by their own fleet and to operate Inspirations and Goldcrest's flight only programmes.

Peach Air operated L1011s and 732s including the oldest 732 on the European register which suffered an in-flight decompression. The L1011s or Peach and of Caledonian caused major delays for Inspirations customers and both Caledonian and Inspirations suffered as a result.

Did Inspirations go bust? I know JMC was created from Caledonian/Flying Colours joining forces.

I think it is fair to say that Inspirations buy out of Caledonian was disastrous for the airline and they bought about the downfall of a popular charter airline and a well-loved, now much missed name.
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 2:20 am

RE: Inspirations Dragged Down Caledonian?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 10:26 pm

Inspirations was bought by Carlson Leisure Group IIRC, which in turn sold it to Thomas Cook who as you say created JMC, which then became Thomas Cook Airlines, with a far better color scheme than the JMC/Caledonian schemes.

I think the idea behind ditching the Caledonian name was to create a brand that didn't sound regionalized.