Airlines Remembered

Air UK

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

Ceased operations: 1998
Homebase: London-Stansted & Norwich
Founded: 1980
ICAO callsign: UKAY
Flightnbr prefix: UK / UKA
Operations: passengers


G-APWJ
Handley Page HPR-7 Herald G-APWJ is seen here preserved with Duxford's "Imperial War Museum" civil collection, in June 2003.

On 01Jan80 Air Anglia, Air Wales, Air Westward and British Island Airways merged to form a united company, Air UK. It grew to become one of the most important regional operators, carrying over a million passengers a year.
British Air Transport held the majority of the shares in Air UK, but in 1987 KLM obtained a shareholding of 14 percent. This strengthened hub operations for Western Europe at Amsterdam considerably.
In 1980 charter operations were started, but this ceased soon afterwards (to continue with newly founded British Island Airways). Fokker 50s and Fokker 100s replaced older types such as Fokker F27s and Short 360s. BAe 146s joined the fleet as well.
In 1987 Air UK Leisure was set up, in cooperation with touroperator Unijet. But Air UK Leisure remained an independent company and in 1996 was sold of to Unijet.
KLM increased its share to 45 percent in 1992 and in 1997 KLM took full ownership. In 1998 the name changed to KLM uk and the colourscheme was changed, closely matching KLM's colourscheme and became intergrated in the KLM Group.
KLM uk lasted until 2003, click here for more info.


Sources:
Fleet info: JP Airline Fleets 1998
"Airlines Remembered", by B.I. Hengi (Midland Publishing, 2000)


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