He was keen to start low-cost 'Skytrain' services across the pond. Unsurprisingly BOAC and Pan Am were less keen! It was these new routes the 707s were to be used for but Skytrain was delayed for years and only eventually began in 1977. Laker used the 707s on standard Mediterranean charter routes from Gatwick to Palma or Tenerife but was able to also replace Britannia's on a series of affinity group charters (ABCs) across the Atlantic to the USA and Canada. G-AVZZ operated a three month lease to Nigeria Airways in 1970, however she was destined once again to become a regular in the Caribbean - this time in the colours of International Caribbean Airways.
Sometime in 1978 it appears that AVZZ was returned to Laker and regained the standard Laker livery. Caribbean Airways (as it was known by then) gained a pair of leased Laker 707-320s (G-BFBS and BFBZ 'Bridgetown') by September 1978 as replacement.
G-AVZZ became N50JJ, then N500JJ, and was broken up at Paris Le Bourget in July 1983.
The timetable image is taken from the collection of Björn Larsson at the excellent http://www.timetableimages.com
29/4/2016 08:15:35 pm
Thank you for the background on this interesting venture and aircraft. Ever since I laid eyes on the beautiful little Aeroclassics model, I have been curious. I had a brief but very memorable visit to Barbados; the Speedbird house is right in downtown Bridgetown. (Then, again, perhaps I should refrain from mentioning BA/BOAC.) I did fly Sir Freddie's Skytrain service in 1981. I have very fond memories of the flight and still hold great admiration for the airline's founder.
29/4/2016 08:27:13 pm
My pleasure. Thanks for the comment.
4/5/2016 06:29:18 pm
Great seeing these pictures of G-AVZZ again along with background history. I flew on that beautiful bird in 1974 on a round trip from Gatwick to Barbados. If my memory serves correctly she had alternating yellow and orange seats with red carpeting. Later while living on the island as a boy I would see her at the then "Seawell airport" before it was renamed to Grantly Adams. She would leave in the evening around 8 PM or 9PM for an early morning arrival at Gatwick. I could see all the ground equipment now including the Texaco fuel trucks (Or was that Shell?) and the big green power unit humming away. Then the sound of the engines starting was magnificent. Couldn't get away with that loud noise in today's world but back then it was music to my ears. Great memories!
4/12/2016 06:31:53 pm
Have just bought the aeroclassics twin set so was interested in finding out about the Caribbean 707. I wasn't aware of this offshoot of laker until I bought the model so your write up has been very valuable.
21/1/2019 03:49:06 pm
First big group (72 pax) I brought from the UK to Barbados (Felixstowe based Cavalier Caravans) was with International Caribbean Airways. The only airline to fly East to fly West, Gatwick/Luxembourg/Barbados. on the return flight one of the B707 engines exploded and we had to spend another four days on Barbados while a replacement engine was flown down from Miami and fitted.
21/1/2020 08:46:03 am
Because of a takeoff weight restriction at Luxembourg the westbound flight made a tech stop at Santa Maria in the Azores to refuel.
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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: