Flying Colours Airlines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Flying Colours Airlines
Flying colours airline logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Ceased operations2000 Merged with Caledonian Airways to form JMC Air)
Operating basesManchester Airport
London Gatwick Airport
Glasgow Airport
Newcastle Airport
Fleet size26
North America
HeadquartersManchester Airport

Flying Colours was a UK charter airline that operated for 4 years between 1996 and 2000.


A Flying Colours Airbus A320 photographed in 1999.

The airline began operations in the summer of 1996 with a fleet of Boeing 757-200, Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.

Flying Colours had several operational bases outside of its Manchester Airport headquarters, including London Gatwick Airport and Glasgow International Airport. The airline quickly established a positive reputation in the charter industry, with a fleet of newly built aircraft and new features; Flying Colours were the first airline in the UK to have LCD TV screens in the cabins of their 757s.

In 1998 the tour operator Thomas Cook Group acquired Flying Colours Leisure Group.[1]

Subsequently, the in-house charter airline of Thomas Cook, Airworld, adopted the Flying Colours Airlines brand.[2] Shortly after the takeover two ex-Airworld Airbus A321s were returned to their lessor. The airline also maintained the Airworld operating base at Bristol.

In 1999 Thomas Cook completed the acquisition of Carlson Leisure Group, who operated the charter carriers Caledonian Airways and Peach Air.[3] This led to a complete rebrand by Thomas Cook of its growing tour operation. In 2000, Thomas Cook rebranded their charter airline operations as JMC Air,[4] part of a new universal customer-facing brand, "JMC".

Flying Colours ordered two Airbus A330-200 aircraft to begin longhaul operations, these aircraft arrived after the JMC rebrand.

JMC Air was rebranded as Thomas Cook Airlines in 2002. Thomas Cook Airlines UK have announced a merger with fellow Manchester-founded airline MyTravel Airways; the parent companies were scheduled to merge in June 2007 with the two airlines merging in November 2007.


  • The buttons on the cabin crew uniform were Yellow, Blue & Red. This earned the airline the nickname "Flying Buttons".
  • For a short time the airline operated from Manchester Airport Terminal 2 before migrating over to Terminal 1 where Thomas Cook UK still operate from today.


  1. ^ "Tour war hots up", Flight International, 1998-06-24
  2. ^ "Flying Colours integrates Airworld", Flight International, 1998-11-25
  3. ^ "Colour change for Caledonian", Flight International, 1999-08-18
  4. ^ "JMC eyes 757-300 deal for 2001", Flight International, 1999-11-24

External links[edit]