Air UK

Herald G-BBXI

Operated from Jan 1980 to Jan 1998

Main Bases – Norwich and later Stansted

AIR UK BIAIn January 1980, two independents, Air Anglia and British Island Airways merged to form the airline Air UK. From the beginning, this new entity continued flying its predecessors former routes while also taking over a number of British Airways services during 1980 and 1981. During the early years, Air UK would confine itself primarily to a massive network of domestic routes, while its continental services would rarely take its aircraft further afield than France, Germany and Norway. As far as Southend was concerned, it was the result of BIA’s acquisition of a number of BAF’s scheduled services in 1979, that would see Air UK operating from the airport from the very outset.

This merger saw no disruption to services from Southend and these flights would initially be operated in and out of Southend by former Air Anglia F-27s or Air Ang Air UKex-BIA Heralds, both of which often turned up at SEN in the mixed liveries of their new and former owners. However, by the latter part of 1980, the all familiar Air UK Blue colour scheme had taken over and it was about this time that the F-27s stopped appearing at SEN too. In April 1981, another type would make itself evident and along with the Heralds which operated services mostly to the Channel Islands, these smaller, Embraer Bandeirantes would inaugurate Air UK’s Commuter Services between Southend and Ostend/Dusseldorf.

While Air UK’s original routes were still bringing in the customers, the commuter services were not so successful and by September 1983 they had been pulled completely. However, despite increasing competition from local airline British Air Ferries, who were once more expanding their own operations to the same destinations, the Herald’s would continue to frequent Southend on a regular basis. In fact, it wasn’t until 1985 that the airline withdrew from Southend completely and transferred these flights to Stansted instead, although in 1987, the airline did briefly return to carry out night flights moving newspapers between Southend and Dusseldorf with F-27s. The following year would also witness the return of passenger flights via subsidiary Air UK Leisure, more of which you can read about in the Southend Visitors menu.

 

Air UK fleet from 1980 to 1985

(Only those aircraft that were likely to have been seen at SEN are listed)

Handley Page Herald

G-APWE – 1/80 to 8/85

WFU at Norwich and B/U 11/85

G-APWF – 1/80 to 10/81

WFU on Jersey and B/U 4/84

G-APWG – 1/80 to 10/81

WFU on Jersey and B/U 4/84

G-APWH – 1/80 to 4/82

WFU and B/U at Norwich 4/82 – Fuselage to fire dump

G-APWJ – 1/80 to 7/85

Donated to IWM Duxford – Current as of 2017

G-ASBG – 1/80 to 9/81

WFU at Norwich – 9/81 – B/U – 8/84

G-ASKK – 1/80 to 3/85

Donated to City of Norwich Aviation Museum – Current as of 2017

G-ASVO – 3/80 to 10/80

On lease from BAF

G-AVEZ – 1/80 to 9/81

WFU at Norwich 9/81 – To fire dump 4/85 – DBF

G-AVPN – 1/80 to 2/86

Sold to Nordic Oil Services

G-AYMG – 1/80 to 5/83

Sold to Securicor Air

G-BAZJ – 1/80 to 10/84

WFU on Guernsey – To fire dump – DBF

G-BBXI – 1/80 to 6/84

DBR at Hurn 11/6/84 – B/U 7/84

G-BCWE – 4/82 to 12/82

On lease from BAF

G-BDZV – 4/80 to 10/80

On lease from BAF

G-BEBB – 4/80 to 8/80

On lease from BAF

G-BEYF – 4/80 to 10/80

On lease from BAF

G-BEYK – 1/80 to 2/86

Sold to Nordic Air Services

Embraer Bandierante

G-BGYS – 1/80 to 1/84

Sold to Prop Jet Inc as N4578U

G-BGYT – 1/80 to 5/83

Sold to Prop Jet Inc as N104VA

G-BGYU – 1/80 to 1/84

Sold to Prop Jet Inc as N4578Q

G-BGYV – 1/80 to 5/83

Sold to Prop Jet Inc as N105VA

G-OAIR – 1/80 to 12/83

Sold to Prop Jet Inc as N4582Q

G-OBIA – 1/80 to 1/83

(rr to G-BKBG 5/82) Sold to James Aircraft Leasing as N102VN

Fokker F-27

G-BAKL – 1/80 to 10/94

Sold to Fokker

G-BAUR – 1/80 to 1/96

Sold to Jersey European Airways

G-BCDN – 1/80 to 1/98

WFU at Norwich and used for G I training

G-BCDO – 1/80 to 7/90

DBR at Schipol, Amsterdam 10/7/90

G-BDDH – 1/80 to 6/86

Sold to Pakistan International Airlines as AP-BCT

G-BDVS – 1/80 to 9/94

WFU at Norwich – B/U 12/96

G-BDVT – 1/80 to 3/86

Sold to Icelanair as TF-FLS

G-BHMW – 9/80 to 1/98

Sold to WDL Flugdienst as D-BAKK

G-BHMX – 7/80 to 5/94

WFU and stored at Norwich – B/U 10/95

G-BHMY – 7/80 to 5/94

WFU and stored at Norwich – TFR to KLM

G-BHMZ – 7/80 to 10/95

WFU and stored at Norwich – B/U 10/95

G-BLGW – 1/80 to 5/94

WFU and stored at Norwich – B/U 10/94

G-SPUD – 1/80 to 11/94

WFU at Norwich and B/U 12/96

G-STAN – 1/80 to 11/94

WFU at Norwich and B/U 12/96

 

Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this airline’s SEN history or indeed, any paraphernalia that you would like to share? If so, then please contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.