- This article is about the UK company. For the defunct US air carrier, see Eastern Air Lines.
|Company slogan||Rise above it all|
Kirmington, North Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
|Key people||Richard Lake (MD)
Brian Huxford (Chairman)
Eastern Airways is an airline with its head office on the property of Humberside Airport in Kirmington, North Lincolnshire, England. It operates scheduled domestic and international services and private charter services. Around 800,000 passengers a year are carried on the scheduled route network.
It has crew bases at Newcastle Airport, Durham Tees Valley Airport, Humberside Airport, East Midlands Airport, Aberdeen Airport, Wick Airport, Warton Aerodrome, Norwich International Airport, Southampton Airport and Lorient Airport in France. Air Kilroe Limited trading as Eastern Airways holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence, it is permitted to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.
The airline started operations in December 1997 with a scheduled service between Humberside and Aberdeen following KLM's withdrawal from the route. In February 1999 it purchased Manchester based Air Kilroe, granting the company an Air Operator's Certificate and giving the airline a fleet of two BAe Jetstream 32 aircraft. In 2002 the first J41 entered the Eastern fleet, the aircraft type which now forms the majority of the fleet. 12 BAe Jetstream 41 aircraft and their associated routes were transferred from British Airways CitiExpress on 30 March 2003 giving Eastern a springboard into many regional UK airports which have now become aircraft bases. In 2003 an Embraer 145 and 135 were wet leased from City Airline to compete on some longer routes. They were quickly replaced with Saab 2000 aircraft due to similar speed and lower fuel consumption. Since 2003 the company has acquired further Saab 2000 aircraft from Crossair and other European carriers and a number of additional Jetstream 41 aircraft from American regional carriers. The airline was owned by Bryan Huxford (59%) and Richard Lake (41%).; however, the Bristow Group, a large helicopter operator serving the offshore oil and gas industry in the U.K., U.S. and elsewhere, now has a 60% ownership stake in the airline.
In 2006 Eastern Airways wet leased a Dornier 328 from Cirrus Airlines to operate a Newcastle to London City service. This was however withdrawn due to increasing charges at London City Airport.
Eastern Airways won the European Regions Airline Association Airline of the Year Gold Award for 2006/07. Previously it had won the Airline of the Year Silver Award for 2003/04 and 2004/05. The airline was awarded as runner-up for punctuality at UK airports in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 by Flight on Time, based on CAA statistics.
Eastern Airways purchased a Jetstream 41 training simulator from the USA, this is also used by other airlines for their own pilots' training, such as Yeti Airlines. Eastern acquired two more used Saab 2000 aircraft, to support both the new route to Stavanger and the booming 50-seat charter market – which is a major source of business for the airline.
As part of One North East's "Passionate People Passionate Places" campaign for North East England, Eastern Airways had a Jetstream 41 painted in promotional colours. It also featured in the 2007 Sunderland International Airshow. A Saab 2000 is also painted in a promotional 'Aberdeen City and Shire' colour scheme.
The airline closed its base at the Isle of Man in August 2009, discontinuing routes to Birmingham and Newcastle from the airport.
In July 2010 the airline took delivery of an Embraer 135 – with 37 – seats and signed a lease on a second thus adding jet aircraft to their fleet for the first time since the acquisition to replace their previously operated Embraer ERJ aircraft. They will be used mainly on charter services to central and Eastern Europe; however, they will also offer increased flexibility on the airlines scheduled services.
Also in July 2010 the airline named one of their Jetstream 41 aircraft after the comedian Ken Dodd in celebration of the year anniversary of the start of scheduled services from Liverpool Airport and Dodds support shown in the region.
In September 2010, it was announced that Eastern Airways bought Air Southwest. However, Air Southwest ceased operations from Plymouth on 14 September 2011 and all remaining services from Newquay ceased on 30 September 2011.
In August 2012, Eastern Group purchased the 82% Manchester Airports Group stake in Humberside Airport.
Since 2008 Eastern Airways has been providing fixed wing services to and from Aberdeen Airport and Scatsta Airport in Shetland. The flights are used to transport oil workers employed by the companies that make up the IAC consortium. Eastern Airways supply fixed wing operations of behalf of Bristow Helicopters. Bristow Helicopters are responsible for providing all air transportation and ground handling services under the terms of the IAC contract. In 2010, the contract with Bristow was extended to 2015. Eastern will continue to provide fixed wing services to Scatsta
The Eastern Airways fleet includes the following aircraft (as of March 2014):
|BAe Jetstream 41||17||29|
|Embraer ERJ 135||2||37||Used for charter service in Europe|
|Embraer ERJ 145||2||50|
|Saab 2000||9||50||Two currently leased to BA city flyer British Airways|
- Gold Airline of the Year by European Regions Airline Association in October 2014.
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 3 April 2007. p. 75.
- ERAA retrieved 12 May 2007[dead link]
- Operating Licence. Caa.co.uk.
- European regions airline association. Eraa.org.
- European regions airline association. Eraa.org.
- 2008 Awards. Flightontime.Info.
- Eastern Airways to withdraw routes. Iomtoday.co.im (5 August 2009).
- BBC News – Air Southwest to cease Plymouth and Newquay flights. Bbc.co.uk (14 July 2011).
- BACA awards 2011. Baca.org.uk.
- "Bristow Helicopters invests in Eastern Airways". 6 February 2014.
- Home page. Eastern Airways. Retrieved on 29 December 2011. "Head Office Eastern Airways Schiphol House Humberside Airport Kirmington DN39 6YH"
- IAC and Bristow partnership extended. Shephard.co.uk (1 November 2010).
- Eastern Airways Fleet. Jethros.org.uk.
- "Eastern Airways adds two Embraer ERJ-135s for corporate transportation". Flightglobal.com. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
- EASTERN AIRWAYS IS NAMED GOLD EUROPEAN REGIONAL AIRLINE OF THE YEAR
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