Airlines of Great Britain – Part 4

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Written by Charlie Dolan

It is said that “all things must come to an end”, and so it is with our visit to the insignia of airlines of the British Isles. It’s not that there are no more carriers which were based there, but the ones already featured are the only ones represented in my collection. I still look for more, but the ones most coveted at the moment are the wings and cap badge of Hunting Clan Airlines. I have been after them for years, but so far none have turned up. Perhaps someday.

Before heading to other places around the globe, here are the insignia of the last ten carriers from Great Britain in my collection. I begin with Sir Freddie’s Laker Airways. I spent many evenings at Niagara Falls Int’l Airport working the Laker Skytrain flights as the passengers cleared U.S Customs and Immigration. While that happened, the aircraft was refueled and groomed before pressing on to Los Angeles. Shown in the article are a blue version of the insignia and a red version with two different cap badges.

Laker Airways     GK       LKR     1966 – 1982

Another visitor to KIAG was Lloyd International Airways , which operated charter flights using Boeing 707 aircraft. On several occasions, while we were searching the aircraft cabin, the crew members who had already cleared federal inspection came back aboard and proceeded to doff their uniforms and change into street clothes before heading out to view Niagara Falls. The phrase we heard often was “You guys are already married anyway”. Well, yes, but you are distracting us from our jobs.

Lloyd Int’l Airways (Charter)           1961 – 1972    
Logan Air (Scotland)   LM       LOG     1962 – present

I often wonder whether the running feet of Manx Airlines have anything to do with the absence of tails on the Manx cats.

Manx Airlines    JE        MNX    1982 – 2002

Monarch Airlines and Thomas Cook Airlines were large operations which seem to have left the skies too early. Cook had been in the travel industry for many decades and perhaps that led to the downfall. The airline was part of a much larger operation which had staffed offices in many cities, incurring costs which could not be sustained. I heard that the internet had a lot to do with their demise. My wife and I did enjoy a flight with Thomas Cook from Manchester, U K to Orlando after a cruise to Iceland and a visit with friends who were stationed in Paris. We took Flybe from Paris to Manchester and Thomas Cook back to the States. The flight was excellent as was the service. I was sad to see them fold.

Monarch Airlines      ZB       MON   1967 – 2017
Thomas Cook Airlines           MT      TCX     1999 – 2019

Silver City had a long history before going to British United Airways and used one of the nicer looking insignia I’ve been able to collect.

Silver City Airways   To BUA      SS        SS        1946 – 1962

Tradewinds and Trans Globe were cargo operators and used the Bristol Britannia for their services.

Tradewinds Airways       Tradewinds Airways  (cargo)       IK        IKA      1967 – 1990   
Trans Globe Airways  (became Tradewinds)   1959 – 1968

Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is represented with two versions of insignia. His carrier and Logan Air of Scotland are the only two of this group of air carriers still extant.

Virgin Atlantic Airways        VS        VIR      1984 – present

Who can offer a guess as to the future of the airline business after the world gets back to “normal”?

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