Following Canadian's takeover of Wardair in 1989 Canada 3000 would quickly grow to become Canada's largest charter airline and one that was consistently profitable too. At the turn of the century the massive changes wrought by the takeover of Canadian Airlines by Air Canada appeared to open up a space for C3 to become Canada's no 2 airline and part of that strategy involved acquisitions. However, C3 would soon live to regret its purchases and desperately try to offload them as it hit the turbulence of 2001.
Compass Airlines was the first attempt to compete against the duopoly of Ansett and Australian Airlines when market deregulation finally came about in November 1990. It was doomed to fail, but did become the only airline operator of VH registered A300-600s - and oddly a single Airbus A310 too.
I recently posted about Aer Lingus and its short usage of the 767-300 but it wasn't alone in the British Isles in utilising the type during the 1990s for a short period. As with Aer Lingus the arrival of a 767 at Virgin Atlantic was directly related to a specific route but in this case, unlike the Irish example, Virgin got exactly what it needed at the right time. The 767-300 was never intended as a test but served exclusively as a stopgap. Even so, it got the full livery treatment and is once again an interesting what-if version.
The Vickers Viscount sold well, but although it got sales all around the world the USA was relatively lukewarm to turboprops in general, especially British ones. Even so, the Viscount still appeared in the States and in some unusual locations long after it was out of production. In the USA's newest state the Viscount was put into service by both competing Hawaiian carriers, well after production had ended, to help bridge the gap to pure jets and help both cope with the growth in passengers statehood at brought.
Some airlines have ordered new aircraft and operated them only briefly due to changing operational needs and financial problems. Aer Lingus and the 767-300 are one such example who utilised the type only briefly and never for its original intended purpose. Considering the airline subsequently re-equipped with the competing Airbus A330 the 767-300 in full Aer Lingus colours is a great example of what might have been.
Airline's come and go with some frequency, but some are more interesting than others and few short-lived attempts get a release in 400 scale. Some do though, usually via that haven of diversity Aeroclassics. I do love an obscure airline from an obscure nation and Pacific Flier is both. Small Pacific island nations have often attempted to create their own connectivity but it has not always been easy for them and Palau's attempt in 2009 did not last long.
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.
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.
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: