British Airtours livery

British Airtours

United Kingdom

Company profile

In April 1969 British European Airways (BEA) formed a new subsidiary charter airline company, called BEA Airtours Ltd (Airtours). Airtours sought to target the expanding package tour market (providing flights and accommodation) with a fleet of nine Comet 4B aircraft. The first fare-carrying flight - a Comet 4B - departed Gatwick to Palma on 6 March 1970. Between 1971 and 1973 Airtours took delivery of seven former-British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) Boeing 707-436 aircraft, replacing four of Airtours' original Comet 4Bs. Following the merger of BEA and BOAC the company was renamed British Airtours and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of British Airways. In the late 1970s Airtours began replacing its older fleet with newer Boeing 737 and 757 aircraft.

By 1980 Airtours started replacing its ageing Boeing 707 fleet with smaller Boeing 737 aircraft and it wasn't until 1984 that Airtours acquired a new wide-body aircraft, a Boeing 747 (instead of receiving former BEA and BOAC aircraft). The same year, the final Boeing 707-436 aircraft was retired. The fleet adopted a version of the British Airways Landor livery, as illustrated by G-APFJ, in 1985. In April 1988 British Airways absorbed British Caledonian and Airtours adopted the Caledonian Airways brand. Caledonian Airways survived until 1995 when the airline was put up for disposal by British Airways and purchased by tour operator Inspirations.

Company information

AirlineBritish Airtours
CountryUnited Kingdom
ServiceCharter airline
DestinationsEuropean and long haul routes
Period of operation1969 - 1988

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