Airlines Remembered

Aer Turas

Photos © R.Leeuw

Ceased operations: 02Jul03
Homebase: Dublin, Ireland
Founded: 1962
ICAO callsign: AerTuras
ICAO code : ATT
Operations: cargo

On a rainy day at Maastricht-Aachen IAP (MST), 25Sep02, we see here McDonnell-Douglas DC-8-63F EI-CGO (c/n 45924/392) getting some service on the engine.

Another airline with a rich aviation history bit the dust...
Aer Turas - Irish Independent Airlines began in 1962 as Aer Turas Teo (Aer Tours Ireland) as an air-taxi service with a single Dragon Rapide. This aircraft was replaced two years later in 1964 with a Douglas DC-3, extending passenger and freight operations into Europe. Within a year the Dakota was replaced by an ex-Air France Douglas DC-4 which was also used for cargo and passenger flights. Passenger services were flown from Liverpool for Cambrian Airways.
In 1966 a Bristol 170 Freighter car transporter was acquired for livestock transportation with a second aircraft coming a month later along. A second DC-4 came along in that month and was leased to Alitalia. It wore Alitalia colours with Aer Turas titles later.
By 1967 Aer Turas decided to concentrate on freight flights (the slower Douglas DC-4s had becme uncompetitive for IT charters). 1969 saw the purchase of several ex-KLM Douglas DC-7s wearing a newgreen/brown livery based on the multi-bar fin livery of KLM of the time. A second DC-4 was added to the fleet.
Two Britannia aircraft were introduced in the mid 1970s to replace the Douglas DC-7s which were replaced toward the end of the 1970s with Canadair CL44-D4 turboprops. These were replaced by Douglas DC8-63CF jets in 1989.
Recently Aer Turas operated mainly from Europe to destinations in the Middle East and North Africa.
During 2002 one of the 2 DC-8s, EI-BNA, was put up for sale and stored at Marana in Arizona,USA.
It was said that er Turas had only one real customer left at the end and that it had difficulties serving this customer when its premier plane needed maintenance or repairs. Soaring insurance costs over the last number of years were also blamed for the company's collapse.
In its last reported accounts, AerTuras had an operating loss of $1.72 million on turnover of $6.47 million in the year to March 31, 2001. The profit and loss account at the end of the year showed a loss of $7.24 million. It was forced to cease operations on 02Jul03 and file for receivership due to the financial difficulties. DC-8-63CF EI-CGO was parked at Ostend with unservicable no.2 engine.
Another great name had faded into history.

A closer look at the somewhat uncomfortable (?) conditions to service no.3 engine...

Historical info: Airline Histories
JP Airline Fleets, edition 2002
Aviation Letter, magazine, issue Jul03

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