The Eastern Air Lines shuttle was a pioneering idea in the busy US North-east market offering no-reservation guaranteed seat service between the super busy business destinations of New York, Washington and Boston. There are few markets that can support such a concept but travel from the UK regions to the London Heathrow was always a good contender. In 1975 the new British Airways decided to see if it could replicate the massive success of Eastern’s shuttle in the UK.
British European received its first series 700 Viscounts in 1953 followed by the first series 800 in January 1957. Of the 79 Viscounts operated by BEA 37 of them saw service from 1974 with its successor British Airways and 35 of these were series 800s.
The Viscounts were gradually disposed of during the 1970s, replaced by One-Elevens, Tridents and 737s on most trunk domestic services. Despite this many remained in service with the Highlands and Channel divisions into the early 1980s.
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: