Viscount G-ATVE

Vickers 812 Viscount – c/n 366

With Channel from May 1966 to Feb 1972

Touching down on May 19th 1966, Viscount G-ATVE would be the second of the ex-Continental Viscounts to arrive at Southend. She was flown again exactly one week later and after making a satisfactory flight test, went into service flying the Southend-Jersey route on the 28th. The rest of the summer would see her taking in Barcelona, Genoa, Palma, Perpignan, Rimini, Rome, Tangier and Valencia although she would make a small number of trips to other destinations, including the scheduled routes too. Just a few days into 1967, Victor Echo would depart on lease to Treffield International where she would operate a good number of I.T charter flights from Cardiff and Bristol. She initially departed to Castle Donington on January 3rd for crew training and then flew to Cardiff on February 12th along with Viscount G-ATVR, where she would take part in a demonstration day for tour operator Hourmont Holidays.

However by June 1967, a good number of Treffield’s flights were experiencing punctuality issues and as such, the contract was passed on to Cambrian until the end of July, when most of these services were then passed on to Channel itself. This Viscount was then reclaimed by Channel and she returned to Southend on June 24th where she would be withdrawn from service until the end of the year. She was in fact the only Viscount to be withdrawn during this busy period and the reason behind this remains unknown. Indeed, it wasn’t until the beginning of December that she would get airborne again, making a test flight on the 3rd and then on the 18th, she once again resumed operations and departed for Castle Donington, possibly to run ferry flights for the Southend, winter sun I.T charters.

While the Hourmont charters would mostly see Channel’s remaining 700 series Viscounts maintaining these routes, the odd 810 series aircraft would operate them from time to time. Victor Echo was approved for such routes and on April 14th 1968, she was seen making a trip between Cardiff/Bristol and Ibiza and would invariably continue to fly these charters until the end of the summer. The following year of 1969 would sadly be the last for Victor Echo and while she was now mostly operating Channel’s I.T flights from Stansted, she was also used (along with G-ATUE) as a reserve aircraft on the new ‘Scottish Flyer’ bus stop route as and when the primary aircraft, G-AVHK was otherwise unavailable. Her last flight would come on October 26th on the return sector of an ad-hoc charter between Berlin and Southend, after which she was WFU. She would remain idle at SEN for almost three more years until being purchased and broken for parts by Alidair in June 1972.


History of G-ATVE

4/59 – 5/66

Continental Air Lines

5/66 – 2/72

Channel Airways


WFU at SEN 10/69 and later B/U by Alidair 6/72


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