Air Europe/Air Europa

Operated from May 1979 to Mar 1991

Main Bases – Gatwick & Manchester

Founders/Directors – Mr. Errol Cossey & Mr. Martin O’Regan

Founded as Inter European Airways by two former Dan-Air executives, this airline would eventually go on to become the second largest package tour operator after Thomson. By 1979 this airline had decided to go with the Air Europe name and the fleet rapidly grew to include Boeing 737s and Boeing 757s which were used to fly primarily to a multitude of Mediterranean and North African destinations although as a rule, the airline would fly all over the world. A Spanish subsidiary ‘Air Europa’ was later launched in 1986 with British Air Europe owner ILG holding a 25% stake in the airline which was at the time, the maximum amount that a foreign concern was permitted to hold according to Spanish law. Air Europe later collapsed, while Air Europa still exists to this very day.

Somewhat inevitably, it was Burstin Holiday trips to Palma and Malaga that brought Air Europe and Air Europa to SEN (both airlines having been included here for the sake of brevity). Flights were operated exclusively by 737-300s and commenced from the spring of 1987, continuing seasonally through until the autumn of 1989. Indeed, it was not unusual to see both a British and a Spanish registered aircraft sitting on the SEN apron at the same time. However by the spring of 1990, Burstin had launched Princess Air in an attempt to cut out the middle man and as a result, many of Britain’s more popular I.T operators would no longer venture into Southend, although a small number of Air Europa aircraft would in later years visit SEN for refinishing work with Air Livery.


Air Europe fleet from 1987 to 1989

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

Boeing 737-300

G-BLKD – 10/86 to 1/89

Leased from Orion Airways

G-BMTE – 2/87 to 12/89

Leased and then TFR to Air Europa as EC-EBZ

G-BMTG*– 2/87 to 11/90

Sold to America West Airlines as N314AW

G-BMTH – 3/87 to 12/90

Sold to America West Airlines as N315AW

G-BNPA – 10/87 to 3/91

Sold to TEA UK as G-DIAR

G-BNPB – 3/88 to 3/91

Leased and then TFR to Air Europa as EC-FGG

G-BNPC – 3/88 to 7/90

Sold to America West Airlines as N312AW

Air Europa fleet from 1987 to 1989

EC-EAK – 11/86 to 3/90

Sold to Aviateca as N102GU

EC-ECA – 3/87 to 6/87

Leased from Air Europe

EC-ECM*– 4/87 to 3/98

Sold to VASP as PP-SFL

EC-ECQ – 5/87 to 10/91

Sold to ILFC as N851LF

EC-ECR*– 5/87 to 12/99

Sold to Balkan Bulgarian as LZ-BOD

EC-ECS – 5/87 to 7/99

Sold to America West Airlines as N366AW

EC-EHA – 2/88 to 12/95

Sold to Western Pacific Airlines as N960WP

EC-EHM – 3/88 to 2/90

Sold to ILFC


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.