kkfla737
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Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Tue May 09, 2006 11:34 am

Looking back at some old Air Florida timetables i'm struck by how many international destinations they served for a carrier with such a small domestic route structure. (even within florida I'm pretty sure Eastern had more flights) In fact, much like his future airline Pan Am, Ed Acker's Air Florida seemed to start and stop domestic routes after a few months. That's one clear similarity I can see just from looking at old timetables the similarities between Acker's managment of Pan Am and of Air Florida.

Anyway, back to int'l flights.

In September 1981 Air Florida served:

London
Shannon
Amsterdam
Brussels
Belize
San Pedro Sula
Tegucigalpa
San Jose, CR.
San Salvador, ES
several bahamian cities
Puerto Plata
Port Au Prince
Santo Domingo
Montego Bay
Kingston

By 1983 they had added Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Madrid and Zurich.

My question is how did a small regional carrier get route authority to fly to all these cities some of which like Dusseldorf and Tegucigalpa were not served by another US flag carrier at the time?
 
AirAmericaC46
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Tue May 09, 2006 12:41 pm

Hello Kkfla737,

From your timetable, can you tell me what type of aircraft QH used for each of the international routings? Specific schedules for each routings appreciated. Thanks for the info.

AirAm
 
Cody
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Tue May 09, 2006 1:02 pm

To answer your question, a combination of good management, really motivated employees, great timing, and Pan Am cutbacks after the National merger.

Eli Timoner, Ed Acker, and Bobby Boothe were all instrumental in obtaining the routes. Ed Acker and Eli Timoner were great leaders. Bobby Boothe had a long history in Latin America through his work with AeroPeru and Braniff. He had many contacts in Central America and the Caribbean. At he same time, Pan Am was cutting back in those places so timing was everything.

As for London, the employees played a major part in this with "The Battle For Britain" campaign. When the London route came up for grabs, after Pan Am and National merged, the employees embarked on a mission to get as many signatures on petitions as they could and "bend the ears" off of any and all passengers that would listen. The campaign gained a lot of publicity. It helped when Eastern backed off trying to get the route since it would serve Gatwick and not Heathrow.

As for Dusseldorf, I am not sure, but it probably had a lot to due with the fact that no other carrier was really interested in flying there at the time.

Did you know:

* Air Florida had authority to serve LGW from EWR?

* Air Florida had authority to fly to Panama City, Panama, but never took it up.

* Air Florida was very close to obtaining the rights to fly from MIA to Tel Aviv via Madrid, but backed off only after they ran into financial problems and Bobby Boothe left the company to go to Northeastern.
 
stirling
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Tue May 09, 2006 1:10 pm

As for what type of aircraft....
In the era of International flying, Air Florida was down to just the 737-200 and the DC-10. All the other types like the DC-9s and Electras were gone.

That DC-10 in Air Florida's colours was sure pretty!

One of the airline magazines recently had an expose' on Air Florida.

They started off with a 707! Flying domestically, hell, INTRA-state even, only within Florida...like Southwest, that's how they got off the ground.
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diesel1
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Tue May 09, 2006 5:38 pm

Did Air Florida actually take the DC-10s to all the European destinations listed?

They had an agreement with British Island AW to transfer passengers from the LGW onto the BIA 1-11s which then took the pax to (for example) BRU.

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Photo © Pedro Aragão

(When not linking the Air Florida LGW flights to other European destinations, the BIA 1-11s flew their 'normal' IT duties)
I don't like signatures...
 
BCAL
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Tue May 09, 2006 6:19 pm

Quoting Diesel1 (Reply 4):
They had an agreement with British Island AW to transfer passengers from the LGW onto the BIA 1-11s which then took the pax to (for example) BRU.

British Island AW was a charter airline, often confused with British United Island AW. IIRC BUIA was a separate entity from BUA and was sold off to become part of Air UK. There was a management buy out that separated the schedule and charter divisions of Air UK, the charter division being headed by Peter Villa who purchased the name British Island AW and BAC 1-11s (and eventually MD83s). Their first charter service to be operated under their own AOL was in June 1982 between LGW and Catania. Towards the end, British Island did operate a schedule service between LGW and Sicily, but the airline soon became bankrupt and like many other names in UK Civil Aviation folded.

It is interesting to note that Wikipedia is incorrect on its history of BIA! Maybe some older UK a.net members can put the record straight.

I think it was Air UK who had an agreement with Air Florida for the transfer of passengers from the LGW onto Europe.

AFAIK Air Florida only operated two services across the Pond. LGW was their principal trans-Arlantic service, and briefly they served either BRU or FRA. The DC10 was the backbone of their long-haul fleet but towards the end, when financial problems besieged the airline, they chartered Arrow Air DC8s for the route but this was short lived.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
diesel1
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Tue May 09, 2006 9:27 pm

Quoting BCAL (Reply 5):
I think it was Air UK who had an agreement with Air Florida for the transfer of passengers from the LGW onto Europe.

The BIA 1-11 above (together with another example in the pics database) has an Air Florida sticker, I'm sure it was BIA not Air UK that was used.

Incidentally, your comments on the Wikipedia article are totally correct...
I don't like signatures...
 
BCAL
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Tue May 09, 2006 9:36 pm

Quoting Diesel1 (Reply 6):
The BIA 1-11 above (together with another example in the pics database) has an Air Florida sticker,

Was it added in Photoshop?!?  bigthumbsup 

Strange, when British Island AW was a principally a charter carrier and their only scheduled flight was between LGW and Sicily, but perhaps some older UK a.net members might be able to throw some light on the mystery.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Tue May 09, 2006 10:10 pm

Quoting AirAmericaC46 (Reply 1):
From your timetable, can you tell me what type of aircraft QH used for each of the international routings? Specific schedules for each routings appreciated. Thanks for the info.

I was there from 1981-1982. Trans-Atlantic stuff was operated by DC-10-30s. The first one was N1035F, with all-coach seating. Then, three ex-Trans America birds were added, N101TV, N102TV, and N103TV, all with multi-class seating.

The DC-9s sometimes did FLL-FPO or MIA-FPO roundtrips, but most of the other international service was by 737s. I flew MIA-GDT-POP-MIA, MIA-TGU-PAP-MIA, and HPN-BDA-HPN on route checks, and 737s also operated into MBJ, KIN, PAP, SDQ, and SJO. We later picked up some brand-new 727-200s (originally destined for Braniff), and we sometimes ran them MIA-SJO and to MBJ/KIN, and charters from the Northeast to SXM. We also ran charters (737) to SXM, FDF, PTP, RSD, and other Carribean locales that escape me at the moment.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
LTU330
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Tue May 09, 2006 10:50 pm

I flew Air Florida on N1035F from MAN to MIA direct in June 1982. I don't think it was in full colours though. the flight back was, for some reason, on BA 747 G-AWNB ! We had an exit row on the '10', and the thing I remember most is getting soaked during descent by water coming from above the ceiling panels.
 
Cody
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Tue May 09, 2006 11:26 pm

The DC-10 was also used to San Jose, Costa Rica on occasion.
 
kkfla737
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Wed May 10, 2006 1:18 am

Quoting AirAmericaC46 (Reply 1):
From your timetable, can you tell me what type of aircraft QH used for each of the international routings? Specific schedules for each routings appreciated. Thanks for the info.

unfortunately, QH didn't list aircraft or flight itinararies at the back of the timetable. But I do believe most long haul flights were operated with a DC-10.
 
kkfla737
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Wed May 10, 2006 10:23 am

Quoting Cody (Reply 2):
At he same time, Pan Am was cutting back in those places so timing was everything.

Why exactly did Pan Am drop so many National routes to Europe from MIA right after the merger? It seems to me that PA's goal of a domestic feeder system would have worked better had they maintained the routes NA flew from Miami to Amsterdam and Zurich, as well as their own former nonstop flight to Madrid which was dropped around the same time. These routes never returned to PA.


Also, PA dropped a number of flights to Central America and Hispanola from Miami that ended up on QH's route map. After Air Florida went belly up these routes all ended up back on PA's route map!
 
akjetBlue
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Wed May 10, 2006 9:00 pm

Save a horse! Ride a Cowboy!
 
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yellowtail
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Wed May 10, 2006 11:24 pm

I flew the mcouple of times into BZE and it was always a nice flight....always full too....
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
belizexp
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Thu May 11, 2006 4:50 am

Quoting Yellowtail (Reply 14):
I flew the mcouple of times into BZE and it was always a nice flight....always full too....

I agree Air Florida was a great airline service was outstanding from all my travel with them it a ashamed when this great airline went out of business.
Belize my home sweet home...
 
fanofjets
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Thu May 11, 2006 12:38 pm

In addition to regular trans-Atlantic service, Air Florida flew their DC-10s on charters. I flew on this bird in 1983, $399 RT JFK-LGW on such a flight - service was among the best I have ever experienced.

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Photo © Robert Pittuck


Indeed, I miss this great airline.
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
Cody
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Fri May 12, 2006 10:13 pm

One more note that might be of help. Since MIA was a major hub to the Caribbean and Central America, Air Florida management worked tirelessly with the Presidents of LACSA, TACA and other Latin carriers. They basically asked them, "If you are going to have competition from a US carrier, who would you rather it be, EASTERN or Air Florida?"

That also helped out Air Florida's case as the management of those carriers went to bat for Air Florida with their local governments. Air Florida worked out a deal with LACSA that was probably one of the first present-day codeshares. Air Florida operated a DC-10 to San Jose on behalf of both carriers.

So you see, lots of intricate deals and negotiations were the key.
 
by738
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Sat May 13, 2006 12:50 am

Interesting to see PIK listed as a charter destination. Any pics of Air Florida at PIK ?
 
kkfla737
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RE: Air Florida Int'l Destinations

Sat May 13, 2006 1:31 am

Quoting Cody (Reply 17):
One more note that might be of help. Since MIA was a major hub to the Caribbean and Central America, Air Florida management worked tirelessly with the Presidents of LACSA, TACA and other Latin carriers. They basically asked them, "If you are going to have competition from a US carrier, who would you rather it be, EASTERN or Air Florida?"

that explains the gap in Eastern's route map between Guatemala City and Panama City that existed from 1982 thru 1985.

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