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lesfalls
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Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:50 am

Can someone give me an overall outline and what routes Laker airways flew?
Lufthansa: Einfach ein bisschen besser.
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 6:12 am

I'll let someone more knowledgeable answer, but I'm still pissed about getting this one wrong in Trival Pursuit back in the 80's.

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LJ
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 6:43 am

Try their wikipedia as i gives a good overview of the airline
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:05 pm

They flew to European sun destinations as well as ski charters during winter.

They of course offered the famous Skytrain service between LGW and JFK as well as LGW to LAX, first with a fuel stop, then non-stop with the arrival of DC-10-30s.

Laker tried to extend their Skytrain network to Australia, but authorities refused. I believe their DC-10s had Y380 configuration.
 
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lesfalls
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:15 pm

Quoting LJ (Reply 2):

I looked but they don't show all the routes they flew.
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sassiciai
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:30 pm

Laker had (at least) 2 different periods of history. The first was when it was mainly a bucket&spade airline, flying cold North West Europeans to the sun and sand of the Med & Canary Islands year-round on charter contracts. For that, they flew all over the place in Europe, and even had for a while a base in Berlin. In this period, the airline was unremarkable, but profitable

In its Skytrain period, Freddy tried to take on the establishment (the legacy carriers) and to offer a bare bones trans-Atlantic flight for a fraction of legacy fares, flying London Gatwick to JFK, and later, I think to Los Angeles. These were the 2 routes of note in this period. Laker generated loads of hype, and was the favourite thing for a while with the young backpacker generation who took benefit of the very cheap fares on offer. There was lots of controversy, and newspaper articles, with one camp predicting this as the "way ahead", while the conservative side predicted that it couldn't last!

The legacies, IIRC, entered into a fares war with Laker, and the economy had a bit of a dip as well. The legacies had deep pockets, Laker did not. Bankrupt!
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:01 pm

If you look on YouTube there are many TV programes to watch about the making of the airline and the failure, quite interesting.
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Tomassjc
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 6:09 pm

Quoting sassiciai (Reply 5):
In its Skytrain period, Freddy tried to take on the establishment (the legacy carriers) and to offer a bare bones trans-Atlantic flight for a fraction of legacy fares, flying London Gatwick to JFK, and later, I think to Los Angeles. These were the 2 routes of note in this period. Laker generated loads of hype, and was the favourite thing for a while with the young backpacker generation who took benefit of the very cheap fares on offer.

I worked for them briefly during this time in the sales office at LAX in the summer of '79. The Skytrain was a no reservations, walk up service LAX/JFK-LGW. Tickets were sold the same day at 3 or 4 locations in the LA area (Including Disneyland) and from 2 or 3 venues in NY.

Once the day's flight was sold out, tickets would be sold for the following day, and then the next and so on. It required a great amount of flexibility on the part of the passenger, and the lines for ticket sales were always filled with an interesting mix of folks to say the least! Meals on board were " a la carte" and were purchased with you ticket. I worked on the phone lines where we would inform passengers what day we were selling for and how many seats were left on that specific flight.

The DC-10-10s carried 379 and were pretty cramped. LAX flights always involved a fuel stop in BGR westbound and most of the time eastbound. The DC-10s were also used along with a few BAC-111s for IT charters from the UK to European and Mediterranean destinations. If I recall, A 707 was flow on behalf of Caribbean Airways from LGW to Barbados during that time as well. I seem to remember that OAK and MCO services were flown briefly in the early 80s.

As mentioned, the legacies, (PA, TW and BA at the time) started matching GK's incredibly low fares, and Laker then began offering a reservation service, but the writing was already on the wall.

I had the opportunity to meet the iconic Sir Freddie, and I'm still friends with several former Laker employees.

Great people and good times back then!

Tomas SJC
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jmc757
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:48 pm

They also had another go in the 1990s using DC10s, this time round they were American registered (the original airline being British). They flew from the UK - Orlando on a charter basis I believe. Didn't last all that long.
 
26point2
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:05 pm

Not sure if scheduled or charter but certain Laker frequently visited OAK.
 
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cougar15
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:22 pm

Quoting jmc757 (Reply 8):
They also had another go in the 1990s using DC10s, this time round they were American registered (the original airline being British).

... and a third time out of the Bahamas if I recall correct...........? if Memory serves me right, that too went nowhere.....   
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A320FlyGuy
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:55 pm

It is interesting that this should come up, as I was talking to my parents about Laker the other night over dinner....

A very close friend of my Mom's worked directly with Freddie Laker - As it turns out, my Mom's friend was Freddie's right hand...she was very involved in the day-to-day operation of the airline and even had a hand in the interior design of the DC-10 fleet. I never had the chance to meet this friend as she passed away before I knew about her history with Freddie Laker but it certainly would have been interesting to hear about Laker from someone who worked with the man himself.
My other car is an A320-200
 
Rocker
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:15 pm

Definitely frequented FLL and possibly MIA in the mid-90's... pretty sure LGW-FLL.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:16 pm

Quoting sassiciai (Reply 5):
In its Skytrain period, Freddy tried to take on the establishment (the legacy carriers) and to offer a bare bones trans-Atlantic flight for a fraction of legacy fares,

Something that was tried again by the likes of People Express.

Quoting Tomassjc (Reply 7):
The DC-10-10s carried 379 and were pretty cramped.

Not surprising since the DC-10's maximum capacity in a single-cramped-class is Y380.

Quoting Tomassjc (Reply 7):
LAX flights always involved a fuel stop in BGR westbound and most of the time eastbound.

I guess only with the DC-10-10s. The -30s were ordered in part for that reason, to offer non-stops to California.

Quoting cougar15 (Reply 10):
... and a third time out of the Bahamas if I recall correct...........?

Almost. Laker Airways (Bahamas) was set-up before Laker Airways 2 (transatlantic).
 
fanofjets
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:38 am

Laker DC-10 Skytrain services also called at MAN.

The primary Skytrain services were flown with Series -10 aircraft. Several Series -30 were purchased in 1980 for the LAX services, with the hope of also flying to the Far East (if my memory is correct).

Freddie Laker also acquired Airbus A300 aircraft for European Skytrain services.

I flew the airline in 1981 and have fond memories of the airline. With 10-abreast all-economy seating in the DC-10s, it was a little cramped, but nothing any worse than the full-fare airlines of today. Service was very good, with full IFE, choice of meals, and a cup of wine. The flight attendants were friendly; there was a very at-home feeling aboard a Laker flight. Laker made flying to England affordable to this U.S. college student. I purchased a beautiful 1:200-scale model of the first Laker DC-10-10, G-AZZC, "Eastern Belle," as a souvenir.


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Freddie Laker created an affordable British scheduled long-distance airline against appalling odds. The first Skytrain service lasted only about 5 years; the second Laker incarnation in Florida (with Boeing 727s and DC-10-30s) even less. Nevertheless, Laker inspired another British independent airline, one of the most successful and respected in the world. It is worth noting that Sir Richard Branson named one of his early Boeing 747s (G-VMIA) "Spirit of Sir Freddie."

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And an original Laker aircraft still exists more than three decades later! The first Orbis DC-10, N220AU, was originally G-BELO, "Southern Belle." It was that very aircraft that took me on that magical trip 34 years ago.

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910A
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:36 am

Quoting fanofjets (Reply 14):
I flew the airline in 1981 and have fond memories of the airline. With 10-abreast all-economy seating in the DC-10s, it was a little cramped, but nothing any worse than the full-fare airlines of today. Service was very good, with full IFE, choice of meals, and a cup of wine. The flight attendants were friendly; there was a very at-home feeling aboard a Laker flight.

I second your comment. I had a long five day weekend in Feb 1981, and took the Skytrain from LAX. It was actually a very enjoyable ride, and since it was February the plane going both ways was maybe 1/3 full, had three seats to myself going back and forth.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:04 pm

Quoting Rocker (Reply 12):
Definitely frequented FLL and possibly MIA in the mid-90's... pretty sure LGW-FLL.

Note sure about MIA, but yes they flew FLL-LGW as well as MCO-MAN


And a couple of links:

http://www.tailsthroughtime.com/2010...icult-birth-of-laker-skytrain.html

http://airwaysnews.com/html/gallery....route-maps-and-history&query=Laker
 
jlbmedia
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:23 pm

Quoting cougar15 (Reply 10):
a third time out of the Bahamas if I recall correct...........? if Memory serves me right, that too went nowhere.....

I took a Laker 727 from BWI to Freeport Bahamas, via Princess Vacations. sometime in the 90's.
JLB54061
 
PieterBoth
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RE: Laker Airways?

Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:41 pm

Quoting cougar15 (Reply 10):
and a third time out of the Bahamas if I recall correct...........? if Memory serves me right, that too went nowhere.....   

Indeed I also flew Laker Bahamas from FLL to FPO in 1998. It was a very short flight.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Laker Airways?

Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:54 am

Remember you're discussing a different business if you're in the 1990s, the N- operation was not a success either.
Laker Skytrain also flew MAN-PIK-MIA and LAX I believe? They didn't get JFK as BA objected. Is that about right?

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