Alidair/Guernsey Airlines

Operated from Jan 1972 to Jul 1983

Main Base – Hucknall and then East Midlands

Founder/Director – Capt. Roger Dadd

While Alidair had started taxi operations during mid-1971 with a pair of small twins, it wasn’t until early 1972 that Alidair moved into the realm of mainstream commercial services. In many ways, this airline would go onto to maintain and retain a lifelong relationship with Southend, even though operations themselves would only be run from the airport for one season. It was primarily from the sad remnants of the Channel Airways collapse that Alidair would in effect emerge, as the three remaining airworthy Viscounts and a good number of spares were bought up by the airline which were either flown or transferred to East Midlands where they would be prepared for their next lease of life. A single Viscount had also been procured from BMA and by the summer of 1972, Alidair had three usable Viscounts after the decision had been taken to withdraw one of the Channel Viscounts for spares use.

Sufficed to say, it wouldn’t take long until the Viscounts were back at Southend. Several freight flights took place during 1972 and by early April 1973, G-AVIW had been dispatched to SEN for a full summer season on lease with BAF which at the time had only Carvairs in its fleet and was looking for a way to boost passenger numbers on their cross-Channel routes. However, Alidair’s other Viscounts would also frequent SEN during this year, flying a number of charter flights on behalf of two of I.T. companies to Alicante, Cologne, Cork, Ostend, Palma, Paris and Rotterdam. From 1974 on, operations would once more take a downturn although the odd cargo flight and several diversions would still occur over the coming years. In the meantime, Alidair had not been idle and in 1975 they won a Shell contract to fly oil workers between Aberdeen and Sumburgh. It was also at this point that the airline disposed of all but one of its 810 series Viscounts and replaced them with a similar number of slightly smaller 700 series aircraft.

In 1978, Alidair formed Guernsey Airlines and three Viscounts were eventually leased or transferred over to this new entity which was also tasked with maintaining the Aberdeen oil route. Needless to say, Guernsey would also fly a small number of other passenger and freight services, the latter of which would see their Viscounts making a small number of trips to SEN during the late 70s. Then a rather high profile, albeit non-fatal accident would see Alidair changing its name to Inter-City Airways during 1980, although this re-branding would ultimately leave Guernsey side of the business unaffected. However by 1983, the company was in financial trouble and by July of that year it had gone into administration. However, BAF’s owner Jadepoint quickly saw the potential of the oil route and snapped up Guernsey Airways along with their two remaining 700 series Viscounts, while the Alidair and Inter-City side of the company would quickly vanished into obscurity.

 

Alidair/Guernsey Airlines fleet from 1972 to 1983

Vickers 810 Viscount

G-AOYG – 2/75 to 4/75

Leased from British Airways

G-ASED – 5/72 to 3/74

Sold to Arkia Israel as 4X-AVG

G-ATUE – 5/72 to 8/72

NTU – WFU and B/U for spares

G-AVIW – 5/72 to 1/75

Sold to Far Eastern Air Transport as B-2031

G-AVJL – 6/72 to 4/75

Sold to Far Eastern Air Transport as B-2033

G-AZNH – 1/75 to 9/77

Sold to West African Air Cargo as 9G-ACL

N501TL – 10/75 to 9/76

Leased from Tennessee Gas and Transport Company

Vickers 700 Viscount

G-ARBY – 8/75 to 7/80

DBR two miles short of Exeter Airport 17/7/80

G-ARGR – 4/75 to 9/83

Sold to British Air Ferries

G-ARIR – 6/75 to 12/83

Sold to Janus Airways

G-BDIK – 5/75 to 10/76

WFU and stored at East Midlands – B/U in 1979

G-BDRC – 10/75 to 9/83

Sold to British Air Ferries

G-BFYZ – 4/78 to 10/79

DBR after skidding off runway Kirkwall, Scotland 25/10/79

 

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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.