Air Pacific's first foray into long-haul flights was an expensive failure, however the airline wasn't to be denied and tried another tack. Although upgrading capacity to 747s may at first glance have seemed unwise the new arrangement was a big success in no small part to its new partnership with Australia's national carrier Qantas.
When I investigate the histories of models in my collection it is always an interesting moment when I realise that I have the same airframe in my collection wearing different liveries. This is the case for one of my DC-10-30s, which started its life in the South Pacific and would alternate during its career between that region and the USA. It was also unique in being the only DC-10 to wear the wonderful scheme of Air Pacific of Fiji and would be the aircraft that launched that airline's ill-fated first steps into long-haul travel.
Soviet-era aircraft usually come in a dizzying array of, often bizarre, variants and the IL-76 is no different. You may recognise the saucer atop the fuselage of this 76 to mark it out as the AWACs Ilyushin / Beriev A-50 Mainstay variant, but in fact it is something different. It is the 'aircraft 976' SKIP variant, the IL-76SK, used for the AMCS mission. What is that you ask? Read on...
By the end of the 1960s the dynamic leadership of Harding Lawrence had turned Braniff from a little known Texan trunk airline into a dynamic market leader famous for its 'End of the Plain Plane' marketing campaign pioneered by Lawrence's future wife Mary Wells. Revenue Passenger Miles had more than doubled in 5 years and the takeover of Panagra had further bolstered Braniff's position as a major force in Latin America. But, the airline wasn't standing still and just as Braniff discovered its perfect aircraft it was time for another change.
Mohawk Airlines has always been one of my favourite airlines. It achieved a lot with little and its Indian head motif, although nowadays politically incorrect, was evocative and stylish. The airline's history can't be untwined from the brilliant, but ultimately tragic, leadership of Robert "Bob" English Peach - clearly one of the most impressive figures in aviation in the 1950s and 60s. It was towards the end of Mohawk's existence that the airline rebranded, introducing a radically more modern image.
âThe first five years of Republic Airlines existence had not been kind. This was largely due to the disastrous Hughes Airwest takeover, but Republic had also been assaulted in its East-coast markets by deregulation startups and failed to innovate. That cost the existing CEO his job and would see the employment of Stephen Wolf who would take drastic measures to keep the airline afloat.
Shamrock 200s: Aer Lingus 737s Pt1
I am a major fan not only of Chinese airlines but also obscure airlines so an obscure Chinese airline is surely too good to pass up, especially when it has been represented in 400 scale twice by, that other lover of obscure airliners, Aeroclassics. Air Great Wall was one of many small airlines that appeared after the decentralisation of the Chinese air carrier market, but although some smaller carriers would grow into majors many others were swallowed up by the big three.
Birch Tree: Samara Airlines
Bamako Trijet: TZ-ADR and Air Mali
Despite introducing 727s and swallowing several smaller Alaskan operators, the early 1970s was another difficult time for Alaska Airlines, which had been leading a hand to mouth existence for many years. Led by the wheeler dealing, but also irascible and dictatorial, Charles "Chuck" Willis Alaska had a mountain of debt, poor reputation and very little cash. Change was needed if the airline was to survive.
Alaska Airlines had improved its situation in the 1970s but found itself once again in a precarious financial position just as deregulation came into view. Considering its small size, financial weakness, lack of penetration into the lower 48 and turbulent history it is surprising that it was able to turn itself into one of the few winners of the post-deregulation era. The first step was cracking the Californian market.
By 1970 Nordair was well-established as one of the five regulated regional airlines providing a variety of services both charter and scheduled. In the latter area Nordair had in 1969 been assigned Ontario, aside from the Northwest of the province, and Northwest Quebec as its area of scheduled operations to feed the routes of Air Canada and CP Air. The assignment of specific areas of operations allowed Nordair and the other four regional airlines to plan for growth and acquire modern aircraft.
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: