The faithful DC3 and Ambassador carried on into the new decade. Although they numbered just one of each type. The Comet fleet had increased to 12. The BAC 1-11 fleet had increased to four and the Nord 262 was evaluated. Sadly a Comet crashed into mountains at Arbucias in Spain with the loss of 105 passengers and seven crew. The charter market was now dominating Dan Air's activites. 1970 saw the first year that Dan Air had carried more than a million passengers in one year. The stranglehold of UK scheduled air routeds carried on with very limited opportunities presenting themselves to independant airlines. Dan Air had dropped some of it's domestic services, concentrating on the more profitable routes. By 1970 Rhodes had joined the Greek arpports served by Dan Air. A fairly new type of package tour was beginning to become popular: Skiing. Very quickly destinations were found by Tour Operators in Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Yugoslavia. This helped with year round utilisation of aircraft. Inhams and Neilson were heavy users of Dan Air aircraft in this market. Crystal Holidays were interested in using Dan Air on their North Atlantic services. As the Edwards Committee Report had suggested a "Second Force" UK airline would be given preference amongst other independants. Two airlines; Caledonian and British United were put forward. Caledonian had been flying for ten years and had great reputaion for in flight service. It had been a major player with "Affinity Group" charters accross the Atlantic carrying more passengers that Aer Ligus, Sabena and El Al tot he USA. It had been using old DC 7c aircraft on these routes before obtaining Boeing 707 jets in 1968. British United had been established a long time by way of a merger of several small and medium sized operators. It was not in a good financial position. The two airlines merged when Caledonian bought the ailing company. Now called Caledonain/BUA with the intention of becomming British Caledonian by 1973. The new airline would have seven Boeing 707 and four Vickers VC10 as well ad BAC 1-11 jets for European services. It had been applying for several scheduled services which had been largely rejected. As it stood 90% of scheduled routes by a UK carrier were carried out by BEA or BOAC, this was about to change.
The final DC3 in the fleet was retired last year. Leaving just one Ambassador with a turbine engine. A new addition to the fleet was the Hawker Siddeley 748. Dan Air had began evaluating the Nord 262 , they would later be returned to the manufacturer. It had found a successful replacement to the DC3 in the HS748. Passenger numbers increased to 1,129,000, giving the company the largest number of passengers in a single year so far. Two more Comets were added to the fleet, bringing the total to 14. The BAC 1-11 fleet was also increased to 5 and an ex Pan Am Boeing 707 was acquired. This addition enabled Dan Air to offer maximum payloads and also they would be able to compete with other UK carriers, mainly Caledonian on the "Affinity Group Charters". A large charter programme was started from Birmingham, carrying holiday makers to European destinations for Horizon Holidays Midlands and Lunn Poly. The Ambassador was phased out in September this year. BEA had started a charter division in 1969 called BEA Airtours. Started to counter balance BEA diminsihing presence in the holiday sphere the company announce this year that it was going to replace it's entire fleet of Comets with Boeing 707's to enable it to compete on the North Atlantic Affinity charters. Independant airlines had long resented BEA Airtours as it seemed like the State owned airline wanted to have the best of both Worlds. It was funded by the state. It was another carrier that had parents with very deep pockets. Great Universal Stores now had a major shareholding in Caledonian as well. Britannia had The Thomson Organisation, Monarch Airlines was formed in 1967 with financial backing from the mega wealthy Mantegazza Family who also owned Cosmos Holidays. Donaldson International Airways and Dan Air were two of only a few stand alone airlines who had no Tour Operator backer. Donaldson had been formed in 1968 and leased Britannia Aircraft. By this year they had started operation Boeing 707's leased from Pan Am to join the ever expanding number of carriers on the North Atlantic Affinity Chater operation.
The 1971 Network
1972 was a big year for Dan Air. The Comet fleet had grown to nineteen, they were obtained from BEA Airtours and Channel Airways. The BAC 1-11 fleet remained unchanged, with five models. A second ex Pan Am Boeing 707 joined the fleet. Early in February the company bought up the regional airline Skyways International. Their four HS 748s joined the fleet, a further one was acquired from BOAC taking the total to six. The purchase of the airline also saw it's routes integrated into Dan Air's network. Services to Montpellier, Beauvais and Clermont Ferrand were commenced. Skyways had flown them from Ashford in Kent - they were transferred to Gatwick. That wasn't without problems form the Ministry Of Aviation who were reluctant to allow Dan Air to make the transfer from Ashford to Gatwick. Dan Air called the MoA's bluff and an agreement was made. In fact, the state owned BEA was able to start it's own charter division. The state owned airlines could operate at loss - Davies and Newman floated itself on the UK stock exchange. It raised £5 million and was able to use the funds to purchase more aircraft. This growth resulted in 1,741,000 passengers being carried. The Berne service was the first direct air link between the UK and the Swiss Capital. Dan Air also made an announcement that it was planning to order up to six Boeing 737 200 aircraft in a 140 seat configuration for use on charter flights. That did not happen when the airline decided it's flagship jet was going to be the Boeing 727. Horizon Holidays began a new concept in Package Tours "Club 18-30" it had been having difficulties integrating younger passengers with families and older travellers. The concept was to secure exclusive usage of hotels and flights for these travellers to destinations that would have particular appeal to the younger holiday maker. Benidorm, Magaluf and Tenerife became popular. Dan Air became a leading carrier of these flights. The company was a headache for Horizon who had aways prefered to promote itself as an upmarket brand. It was sold on an ended up with ILG Intasun - more about that in later years.
New services were:
Bournemouth - Birmingham - Liverpool / Manchester - Newcastle - 10th April
Luton - Leeds - Glasgow - 11th April
Swansea - Jersey & Newcastle Carlisle - Jersey - 26th May
Gatwick - Beme service started. 5th June
Bournemouth - Guernsey / Jersey 1st July
Above: Scheduled Services 1972
The Link City Domestic Network 1972
Transatlantic Charter Services 1972
Dan Air's Comet fleet had now grown to a total of 22 aircraft. All of them were used on the ever growing charter and IT market. For the first time the company carried over two million passengers (2,157,000). The HS 748 fleet grew to seven aircraft. These were used on the scheduled service network, including the Link City UK domestic routes. Dan Air became the first UK airline to introduce the Boeing 727 onto the UK register. The 727 (100 series) would be used exclusively on the IT and charter market. It's first revenue flight for the company was Manchester to Alicante on April 13th. They had to be adapted to suit the company's needs. These included adding extra emergency doors as the new aircraft would be carriying betwen 142 and 151 passengers. The aircraft also had new fuel tanks added to permit the aircraft to fly none stop to Tenerife from the company's Berlin Tegal base. The BAC 1-11 fleet was unchanged with five in service, two of which were based in Berlin. The two Boeing 707 aircraft were used on affinity charters across the Atlantic. The charters were aimed at getting groups of people with a specific reason to do so. Groups that had religious, cultural, sporting or ancestoral affiliation to a USA or Canadian group that was similar to the one in the UK. Dan Air had to pay $100,000 to the American Authorites for violations. Whilst the passengers were supposed to have been a member of the "Group" for a least three months and other regulations, the scheme was wide open to fraud. Groups caiming to be "Bird Watching clubs", "Ballroom Dancing Associations" and "Car Appreciation Groups" were not uncommon. Many UK airlines took part in the Affinity charters. Some were more strict than others at adhering to the rules. Most airlines faced a similar charge. The ATLB had been abolished and made way for the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) in 1973 and from this year the CAA made a new regulation concerning Affinity Charters. From now on passengers did not need to belong to one of these ridiculous groups. If passengers wished to travel on a charter they could. Provided it was an ABC (Advanced Booking Charter) flight. The rules required passengers to book with at least 90 days notice. Affinity charters were still operating but with this new system the need was diminished. Those travellers wishing to travel on an Affinity Charter would now have to have been a member of the club for at least six months. Random checks were, in theory, to be carried out to see that membership was genuine. This year saw Dan Air launch a new "Coach Air Service" This was the cheapest way of getting between the UK and French capitals. Passengers would board a coach at London's Victoria station, travel to Ashford in Kent where the passengers would baord a Dan Air flight. The flight to Beauvais was just a short trip. Upon landing passengers boarded a coach which would take them to the centre of Paris. The cost of the whole trip was £11-05. The year was also the year of the Arab Israeli war. The Saudi's imposed restrictions on oil and there was a Worldwide fuel crisis. Dan Air's and most other airlines saw massive drops in passengers as people could not afford the cost of a holiday. The UK economy had suffered as a result and strikes saw the economy hit harder. Power cuts were the norm, finally, UK public sector workers were reduced to a three day week. Holiday bookings suffered but despite this Dan-Air's production of revenue passenger-miles in 1973 was 2,200,000 and was up 26-8 per cent on the 1972 total and was 78 per cent of that of British Caledonian and 110 per cent of that of Britannia Airways. In terms of passengers it was Britain's second-largest carrier, with a total of 2.22 million compared with the BCAL total of 2.1 million and the Britannia total of 1.95 million.
Tees-side added to the 'Link City' network. 1st March
Tees-side-Amsterdam service started. 2nd April
Ashford (Lympne)-Jersey services started. May 1st
The 1973 Scheduled Network
UK "Link City" Domestic Network 1973
Affinity Charter Network 1973
Comet aircraft were, for the first time, reduced in number. This was partly due to the fuel crisis the previous year. The Comets were notorious gas guzzlers. By 1973 it was noted that a Comet carrying 119 passengers burned as much fuel as a DC10 carriying 345. However, on some international scheduled routed Dan Air commenced using Comets, as well as the introduction of a Comet jet on the Gatwick - Newcastle service. The Leeds - Luton service was dropped. In it's place, a Leeds/Bradford - Bournemouth servce was introduced. In total 2,193,000 passengers were carried. It's largest number to date. The HS748 fleet remained the same with seven models and the Boeing 727 number was increased to five. Oil industry charters were to become a large part of Dan Air's operations, And so, a HS 748 was based permanantly in Aberdeen to serve the Shetland and Orkney Islands. New Affinity routes included Hong Kong which was a first for the company after they had secured CAA approval. The Newcastle - Isle of Man was restarted after an absence of several years. One of the biggest shocks in the Air Transport world was the collapse of Clarksons and Court Line. The company was managed by maverick executive Tom Gullick. He had used Dan Air extensively with his charter programme, as well as Court Line which was the rebrand of Autair. Clarksons were hell bent on dominating the Package Tour. It is widely believed that Clarksons would be able to see off all competition and when that was complete the company could raise prices to an afforable level. In some respects it worked. Many DID go out of business. The company worked along the lines of "Pile them high and sell them cheap" Something never attemted on such a grand scale. Gullick had built hotels in Spain, imported donkeys for holidaymakers to ride on and even obtained an egg farm when local firms began charging too much. Not many people actually foresaw what was happen. In a very short time Clarksons had become the second largest tour operator in the country. Despite the company losing money the airline Court Line bought Clarksons in 1972. The formula remained the same even during the Arab Israeli War, the UK three day week, devaluation of the pound, and the fuel crisis of 1973. Horizon Holidays had suffered and was by 1974 in a mortally wounded state. AIH the parent company of Clarksons bought Horizon and jobs were safe. The two companies could not have been more different. Horizon with a first class reputaion and Clarksons with a poor brand image. A new real time computer system was installed with great fanfare. It turned out to be hopeless at just about everything it was anticipated to do. Invoices were late and passengers were actually returning from holiday without having paid anything. The subsequent chasing up of funds was costly and time consuming. Still Clarkson's carried on. Undercutting all competitors. Airlines were so desperate to have Clarksons charters that they bought aircraft solely on the provision that they would be chartered by Clarksons. There had been several attempts to buy Clarksonos and all had been resisted. Court Line bought the firm in August 1973 for a nominal £1. With this they obtained an in house tour operator and all the hotels and shares that Clarksons had in all it's companies. It also inherited it's liabilites. Despite all of this the group acquired brand new, state of the art, 400 seat Lockheed Tristars and began flying them to European destinations. Something never attempted before. the group then purchased ATLAS which was a consolidating company that allowed customers to be able to purchase charter flights in many combinations, bypassing many of the UK regulations. It all came crashing down in August 1974. In the middle of the Summer Season. Dan Air and other companies flew an estimated 35,000 stranded passengers home. Many thousands more who were yet to travel would lose out. The Secretary of state Peter Shore was critised for "Hiding behind the CAA" and Tony Benn was mauled for misleading people with a statement to the house saying that Nationalisation of the parent companies' ship broking business would secure business. Dan Air was also hit because it carried many assengers on Clarkson's Holidays charters.
Newcastle-lsle of Man weekend service started - 14th April
Cardiff - Bristol - Amsterdam - 14th April
Twice daily Gatwick - Newcastle - 29th April
All cross channel flights were transferred from Lympne to Lydd 31st April
International Charter & Scheduled Services 1974
UK scheduled services 1974
More Comet aircraft either rejoined the fleet or were purchased, bringing the number to 19. There was a major acquisition of BAC 1-11s seeing the fleet swell by six aircraft to 11. They were purchased from Zambia airways and Court Line. The latter having dramatically collapsed the year before. Although IT work was lost by it's parent company Clarkson's failure. It also saw Lunn Poly charter more Dan Air Aircraft. The Clarksons collapse saw the, as yet, voluntary ATOL scheme be launched. Tour operators would pay into the scheme hich would be available if any airline or Tour Operator collapsed again. Initially it was suggested all companies pay the same. But in a later agreement smaller Tour Operators were enabled to pay less. It would also mean that Tour Operators would have to give the CAA access to their accounts. If a company did not have a sufficiently good set of trading figures, licences would not be given until the company had an injection of funds. Tht system is still in place today. The government also set up the Air Travel reserve fund. That fund was to be repaid by Tour Operators with a 1% levy on all package holidays. The scheme was also extended to all ABTA travel agents. Harry Goodman had set up a company called Sunair in 1966. It had purchased Lunn Poly which it then sold to Thomson. Eventually he sold Sunair to Cunard. His next move was to start a budget brand Tour Operator called Intasun. In it's forst year Intasun carried just 4,000 passengers. Following the crash of Court Line Goodman seized the day. He had had two jets on standby and used them to pick up the pieces of Clarksons' failure. By this year he had carried 50,000 and made a profit of £300,000. His operation was similar to Clarksons in as far as he wanted to sell holidays cheap. He had based his business on high loads of aircraft. He mainy used Dan Air. The laws were again relaxed a little by the CAA. Now Tour Operators did not have to charter a full aircraft. As long as the airline had the licence to fly on a particular day and time it could sell seats as a total block or as smaller blocks. Many Tour Operators took advantage of this. If, for example a Dan Air Boeing 727 had 141 seats and Ellermann Sunshine chartered it to fly Palma with a request for 100 seats each week then 41 were available for other Tour Operators to fill. Intasun often waited until all the charters had been completed and then filled up the available space at a reduced rate. Where it did charter whole aircraft it did so on late night flights that were cheaper to fly as landing and take off fees as well as aircraft parking charges were lower. The arrangement worked well for Dan Air. Other companies using Dan Air included Cosmos, Exchange, Inghams, Neilsons and a newcomer on the block; Airtours.
Three Viscounts were leased or purchased and the HS 748 fleet increased to 9. In total 2,582,000 passengers were carried in 1975, a further year on increase. Following an increase in passenger numbers Dan Air was able to offer pure jet services on many of it's scheduled services, most notably the Gatwick to Ostend and Jersey services and the Newcastle - Bergan route. The Newcastle to Kristiansand route went to a daily service, as did the Gatwick - Berne service.
Tees Side - Isle Of Man - 24th May
Aberdeen - Isle Of Man - 24th May
Gatwick - Isle Of Man - 24th May
Gatwick - Perpignan - 1st June
Gatwick - Belfast (Cargo) 1st June
A total of 18 Comet were flying in Dan Air colours in 1976. they were complimented by 14 BAC 1-11, 6 Boeing 727 (up one) Four Boeing 707 and 11 HS 748. Together those aircraft carried a record 2,846,000 passengers. Early in January the second engineering base was opened at Manchester. It would service the company's HS 748s and BAC 1-11s. British Airways had been formed in 1973, following a merge with BOAC and BEA. The new government had relaxed some of the aviation legislation. Finally the government abolished the minimum fares on charter flights. It had been tried with success in previous years over the Winter programme with a slight reduction. Now there was no minimum all year round on any route. Of course all Tour Operators were bonded with ATOL and ABTA and all airlines were licenced with the CAA so no one foresaw a massive reduction. In any case the rules did not apply to discounting. If a holiday was advertised in a brochure at, say, £70; it could not be reducted at any time that season. The scheduled service network grew, but the charter division saw substantial growth with Israel now a regular destination. Two new ideas emerged from the new laws. Whilst it was not allowed to discount, an innovation saw "Allocated On Arrival" accomodation. For example. The Tour Operator could sell holidays to a destination at it's agreed price. If a hotel had not met up to expectations and as not selling, the Tour Operator could offer clients the choice of being given accomodation when they arrived at the airport. If they did not know where they were staying, how could they know if they had been given a discount or not? This saw a huge boost in Dan Air's charters. The second, equally innovative idea was "Seat Only". This was the holy grail of UK aviation. Only scheduled airlnes could offer flights as a stand alone service. All charters had to offer accomodation. As the 1970s had progressed people became more affluent and had started to purchase holiday homes, time shares and began renting privately through newspaper lets. To get around this the Tour Operator handed out accomodation vouchers with these deals. The accomodation was pretty grim. Usually in hostels or shared dormitories. Only on a few occasions did people actually use them. One person complained officially that the accomodation was absent and got a refund. The small print on bookings and brochures pointed out that the accomodation was poor and it was entirely up to the ticket holder if they used it or not. British Airways reacted furiously. They saw it as further erosion of their territory. British Caledonian had returned to the charter market following the substantial downturn in recent years. It had spent the last few years pioneering itself and rubbishing charter carriers. Now it wanted to muscle in on the market again. In Dan Air's case further progress was made with the awarding of a Ministry of Defence contract from Gatwick to Gibraltar.
Bristol - Cardiff - Leeds - Glasgow service commenced with HS 748s - 6th January
Boumemouth - Dinard service commenced - 17th April
Carlisle-Jersey service began - 18th April
Newcastle - Stavanger service opened - 28th May
Gatwick - Perpignan and service started - 20th June
Gatwick - Kristiansand - service opened - 20th June
European Scheduled Services 1976
Left: UK Scheduled Services - Right: Transatlantic Services
For the first time the company carried more than three million passengers. (3,591,000) The 727 had proved to be popular with passengers and the fleet had now grown to eight of the type. The Boeing 707 had also proved it's worth with an extra model purchased, bringing the total to six. 14 BAC 1-11, 17 HS 748 and 17 Comets made up the fleet, now totalling 61 aircraft. Dan Air was now a successful scheduled airline and was able to pitch for routes as a major player with sound financial backing. The European Economic Community had Strasburg as one of it's major centres. As UK MEP's and their delegation had to commute it was logical for Dan Air to gain a presence. It was successful in it's application for a Gatwick - Strasburg service. On the Domestic front, a new service linking the Midlands airports of Birmingham and East Midlands to the Isle of Man. The island was a major destination for the airline with many mainland airports serving it. Offering holidaymakers many options and providing an important link for islanders. One of the fleet's Boeing 707's crashed in Lusaka whilst on lease to I.A.S - six lives were lost. There had been a further sterling crisis in 1976/77. The Tour Operators had once more began imposing surcharges on travellers. The CAA reacted by saying that they could no longer issue surcharges after tickets had been issued. It also stated that this had happened partly because they had price cut too aggresively. It considered reintroducing minimum pricing again but deferred judgement. Tour firms had petitioned the Banks to ask for an extension of how far in advance they could purchase foreign currency. The CAA rejected the request. Cosmos holidays had noticed that the rich poor and the poor rich swing had altered. Booking of the upper and middle classes had dropped by 10% while booking from the blue collar workers were up 40% eager to cash in on the expanding market Cosmos introduced a new feature. That all holiday costs including deposits would be returned if the customer was made redundant. This saw an expansion of Cosmos bookings. Cosmos, owned Monarch Airlines and it's fleet was not large. It consisted of thee Boeing 720s and four BAC 1-11. It could not carry all Cosmos' bookings and so the lion's share went to Dan Air. Meanwhle bookings from Intasun continued to grow as did those of Airtours. Laker Airways had acquired Arrowsmith Holidays and a considerable amount of it's booking went Dan Air's way too. Other regular charterers included Ellerman, Inghams, Lunn Poly, Owners Abroad, Neilson, Jetsave and Horizon Midlands which was now renamed Horizon Holidays. This was a separate company to the original Horizons. It had been set up by the Vladimir Raitz who founded Horizons. It surviced the collapse as it was was a different entity.
Gatwick - Strasburg - 1st Apri
Bristol - Cardiff - Cork - 4th April
East Midlands - Birmingham & lsle of Man . 21st May
The whole network in 1977
Charter flights are shown with a black dot.
1978 was Dan Air's Silver Jubilee year. It was a bumper year in terms of passengers carried, when, for the first time more than four million passengers were carried (4,010,000). The Comet fleet was becomming obsolete and a gradual phasing out had begun. Still 13 of the type carried on working on both the scheduled and charter divisions. The BAC 1-11 now fleet stood at 14. The 1-11 fleet consisted of the 200,300,400 and 500 series. This was a great benefit to the airline as it offered Tour Operators varied layouts with the 200 series seating 89 passengers with increasing payloads up to 119 on the 500 series. The Boeing 707 was now also slowly being phased out with one being leased to Air Malta the year before. There had been a decline in Affinity Tours. Laker Airways had successfully been awarded licences to operate low cost transatlantic scheduled services, as had British Caledonian. This meant that Dan Air were not in a position to compete. The 707 aircraft were notorious for technical problems anyway and they were not fuel efficient. The oil industry work had grown substantially, accordingly, the HS 748 fleet had grown to 19 and they were widely used in the Scottish Highlands. They were also used extensively on low density routes throught the domestic and international networks. The Boeing 727 had become the flag ship of the fleet with aircraft being based in Berlin as well as in the UK. Bases at Luton and Manchester were growing. The Unfair Contract Terms act came into force this year. The law was resisted by the operators who had always included exemption clauses in their terms and conditions. This covered all external suppliers, such as airlines, hotels and transfer coaches. If a person died as a result of fire or a coach crash the liability was passed onto the Tour Operator. The CAA also had a couple of new tricks up it's sleeve to please consumers and annoy Tour Operators. Some could benefit Dan Air. Firstly Travel Agents were no longer given restrictions on travel incentives. From this year they could offer things such as Beach Towels, Bags, and even sun cream as an incentive to entice holiday makers onto one firm or another. The tour operators would provide this. The other was far more wide reaching. In July of 1978 it gave approval for a Danish Tour Operator, Tjaereborg to start selling directly to UK customers. It sold it's holidays direct. That is either via the brochure by mail or more usually by telephone. It's owner, Elif Krogagor, had an airline; Sterling. It sold 600,000 holidays a year to Scandinavians and Germans and was now trying the UK market. It was quickly followed by Swedish company Vingresor which had cornered about 40% of the Swedish market. The new concet was quickly accepted by UK consumers but the industry was not so keen. Some of the flights were flown by Dan Air so they were happy. The Touor Operators in the UK were furious and a row quickly ensued. Appeals to the CAA fell on deaf ears. Initially tour operators were worried that these direct sales companies might eat into their market share. The wondered if their advertising budget might be too much. It seemed to work well, and so, it became a case of "If you can't beat tehm, join them" Portland Holidays had been set up and saw some of it's share taken. Portland had been a charterer of Dan Air aircraft and the airline could only wait and see. In a very short time it seemed there was enough room for these two types of Tour Operators. The travel giants didn't see it that way. Vingresor was quickly bought out by Thomson and jereborg was swallowed up by Owners Abroad in 1987. Several Dan Air staff were poached by Harry Goodman's ILG. He had continued to carve a sizeable market and had decided to start his own airline; Air Europe. He had the finance and now began to poach Dan Air staff, both at board level and at training level. Dan Air's chief stewardess was recruited and she, in turn, recruited cabin crew for Air Europe. Commercial Director Errol Cossey and Chief Executive Martin O'Reagan had met Goodman who had raised the £500,000 to commence operations. The two Dan Air board members had tried, unsuccessfully to get Fred Newman to purchase new Boeing 737 200 adv aircraft to leapfrog over Britannia Airways to secure better charter bookings. Newman had refused and releations soured. The two left to join Harry Goodman who began operation this year with Boeing 737 200 adv aircraft.
Gatwick - Bergen- Commenced - April 1st
Gatwick - Jersey Commenced - April 15th
Bournemouth - Isle of Man Commenced. May 27th
Jersey - Cork - Commenced May 27th
The 1978 Scheduled Service Network
Charter destinations shown with a black dot.
The phasing out of the Comet was almost complete with just seven remaining at the start of the year. More would be retired as the year went on. The BAC 1-11 fleet grew by one model and two Vickers Viscounts were obtained, primarily for use on the Channel Islands Services. Just one Boeing 707 was in the fleet in 1979. Altogether 21 HS 748s were flying and the flagship Beoing 727 stood at eight in total. Several of the directors of Dan Air had left the company to start their own airline - Air Europe. This was because Dan Air's chairman would not purchase new Boeing 737 200adv aircraft. Despite this change in the board room resulting in a new airline the company still carried 3,591,000 passengers. A new agreement with Intra Airways was signed allowing each airline to use each other's aircraft on the Carlisle, Staverton and Swansea to Jersey and Guernsey. Tragedy struck on 1st July when HS 748 G-BEKF crashed on take off. The aircraft overran the runway and crashed into the sea. 2 crew and fifteen passengers perished in the freezing waters. The sole cabin attendant was awarded in the Queen's Honours List for helping to save the lives of 29 passengers. By the end of the decade people were travelling further and more often. It was also clear that people were now chosing self catering more and smaller hotels. People were more comfortable eating local cuisine in restaurants of their choice. They required the services of the reps less as well. Smaller Tour Operators were complaning that the giant companies were deliberately trying to undercut them with huge, loss leading discounts on their holidays that the smaller companies could never compete with. Dan Air were being chartered by more and more of these smaller companies. It was vital that they retain their working relationship as the entered a new decade.
Gatwick - Dijon - Commenced May 1st
Newcastle - Birmingham - Isle of Man - Commenced May 23rd
Gatwick - Aberdeen - November 1st (Taken over from British Airways)
Gatwick - Toulouse - December 16th
The Domestic Network 1979
International Scheduled Services (Charter flights shown with a black dot)