BKS Pt1: Pioneering UK Independent
The airline's confidence was almost misplaced as the winter of 1961-62 was very harsh causing losses at the carrier which briefly looked like it might fold. A pair of Viscounts that had been leased in from Maitland Drewery had to be returned and credit was hard to come by. Fortunately the airline's underpinning financials were sound and though receivers were called in at the end of the year it was able to recover. The Hs-748s were only deferred and not cancelled. On October 1, 1962 BKS became the first airline to operate the HS-748 domestically in the UK when a leased example flew Leeds-London. The type cut the time by 25 minutes and more than doubed the load factor of the route (from 31-80%). By April 1963 all four of the airline's ordered HS-748s were in service.
Incidentally you'll notice that both of the JC Wings releases above wear the post 1965 more colourful blue tail BKS livery.
BKS Air Transport Ltd History site
Halford-MacLeod, Guy. Britain's Airlines Volume 2: 1951-1964
Timetable images from http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/ns.htm
13/10/2015 11:22:59 pm
Surprised not to see a GJ BKS Trident - cheap as chips on E. Bay!
14/10/2015 04:07:00 am
Well I used to have the Trident ages ago and actually sold it and it hasn't come up in a Waffle sale since. Postage costs kills eBay for me sadly. The Tridents will make an appearance in part 2 as it isn't in the same BKS livery anyway. In fact even the BKS livery here doesn't actually fit with the timescale of the post.
14/10/2015 12:59:02 am
Very interesting. Britain sounds similar to the US--many smaller carriers that whose names disappeared into larger ones, like Mackey into Eastern. Was BOAC replacing Britannias with 707's and VC-10's by that point?
14/10/2015 04:08:30 am
BOAC was in serious trouble in the early 1960s and found itself awash with new aircraft. The Comet 4s and Brits didn't last long in the fleet especially the early Britannia 100s. Most seem to have only served for 4 or 5 years.
Republic DC-9 AKA Steve
14/10/2015 02:56:39 am
Excellent work, Rich and very interesting too! So glad I bought these two models, and must look for this Trident Adrian speaks of!
15/12/2019 10:15:17 am
British Library has archived my website on BKS Air Transport and it can be found here
11/8/2020 10:32:17 am
There is a football team called BKS sport which still around today it was founded in 1956 by the engineering staff of BKS Air Transport Limited and compete in the Southend Borough & District Football Combination League.
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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: