On 1st January 1979 British Air Ferries, having already ceased car ferry services in 1977, transferred its entire Herald operated scheduled network to British Island Airways. From that point onwards operations were concentrated on leasing. oil support and charter services. To facilitate these activities the airline gradually purchased 18 ex-British Airways Viscounts between 1981 and 1984 making it the world's largest Viscount operator at the time.
The record of Viscounts taken into service is as follows:
1981: G-AOHL, HM, HT, HV, YI, YJ, YN, YP, YS, APEX, EY,
1984: G-AOYG, YL, YM, YO, YR, APIM,.
The aircraft received in1984 had been stored by BA for several years at Cardiff after their withdrawal. In addition to these 18 aircraft BAF also purchased 3 non ex-BA Viscounts as follows:
As late as 1989 two more aircraft were leased (G-OHOT and G-AZNA) whilst several more were bought for spares.
G-AOYN ‘Viscount Rotterdam’ had originally joined BEA as RMA Sir Isaac Newton in June 1958 before transfer to Cambrian in late 1971. She was leased to Capital Airlines for 6 months in 1989 and returned to British World (the new identitiy BAF took in 1993) as G-OPAS in October 1994. She was withdrawn a year and a half later and the fuselage has joined the collection at Duxford.
Guernsey Airlines was formed in 1977 and by 1981 connected Guernsey with Manchester, Gloucester and Cambridge, and Jersey with Newcastle and Prestwick using Viscount 700s. The next year it was successful in being awarded AirUK’s LGW-GUE route. In 1983 it was bought out by British Air Ferries and Viscount 800s joined the fleet. G-BLOA had formerly been G-AOYJ ‘RMA Edward Jenner’ delivered to BEA in January 1958 and leased to Cyprus Airways between 10/65 and 05/70. Sold to Cambrian she rejoined BA and then joined BAF in April 1981. This was followed by a lease to Air Algerie until September 1981 and a lease to Manx from 10/84-02/85. Guernsey itself was purchased by the Airlines of Britain Group in 1989 and merged into Air Europe Express. BLOA was returned to BAF who became British World in April 1993 and withdrawn two months later.
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I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: