12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
The Air Atlantique Classic Flight, featured in Flight International Monday 18 January is to be based elsewhere from Coventry Airport, leaving just engineering at its home since the mid-1980s. However, according to owner Mike Collett it will not be departing the country.
”Classic Flight is an expensive operation to run and operate,” he said. ”The fleet now covers over 20 flyable aircraft, most from the forties and fifties, although our de Havilland Dragon Rapides date from the 1930s. We use them for pleasure flying, in films and commercials, and for promotional work, and of course at air shows around the country. They just about pay their way, but it is marginal.”
”I recently advertised Classic Flight for sale, and was pleased with the interest, including serious enquiries some from overseas. On balance I have decided to continue with the fleet, and certainly not let this unique collection go abroad.”
”We will however seek a new base away from Coventry Airport. We have outgrown the facility. Or put it another way, with its development as a major base for Thomsonfly it has outgrown us. Several potential sites have been considered and negotiations are ongoing. I expect Classic Flight to have a new home by 2008.”
Mr Collett, chairman of the Air Atlantique Group, which includes Atlantic Reconnaissance and Atlantic Express, the Channel Islands airline, noted that for next year a Douglas DC6 (pictured) would be added to the display fleet and that the Classic Flight Avro Shackleton, currently in the United States, would be flown back across the Atlantic. The DC3s (Dakota), Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer de Havilland Devon and de Havilland Rapides would continue with CAA public transport certificate of airworthiness. A Dakota is expected to go on tour during the summer months including Scotland.
Other ”classic” aircraft in the fleet include an Avro Anson, de Havilland Chipmuk and somewhat quicker Vampire and Venom, Percival Pembroke and Prentice, a former world record holding English Electric Canberra and a Coventry Airport-built Gloster Meteor.