Dan-Air (Dan Air Services Limited) was an airline based in the United Kingdom and a wholly owned subsidiary of London shipbroking firm Davies and Newman. It was started in 1953 with a single aircraft. Initially, it operated cargo and passenger charter flights from Southend (1953–1955) and Blackbushe airports (1955–1960) using a variety of piston-engined aircraft before moving to a new base at Gatwick Airport in 1960, followed by expansion into inclusive tour (IT) charter flights and all-year round scheduled services. The introduction of two de Havilland Comet series 4 jet aircraft in 1966 made Dan-Air the second British independent airline after British United Airways to begin sustained jet operations.
The early 1970s saw the acquisition of a pair of Boeing 707 long-haul jets for use on affinity group and Advance Booking Charter flights to Canada and the United States. In 1973, Dan-Air became the first British airline to operate the Boeing 727 trijet. By the mid-1970s, it had become Britain's largest independent airline, both in terms of passengers carried and fleet size, operating the country's largest charter fleet. This was also the time a Dan-Air staff member, Yvonne Pope Sintes became Britain's and Europe's first female jet captain.By the early 1980s, the airline had also become the leading operator of fixed wing oil industry support flights, operating a fleet of 13 Hawker Siddeley 748 turboprops between bases on the Scottish mainland and the Shetland Islands under contract to firms involved in North Sea oil exploration.
In 1983, Dan-Air was the first airline to launch commercial operations with British Aerospace 146 regional jet. The acquisition of an Airbus A300 in 1986 marked Dan-Air's widebody debut and the late 1980s saw a major expansion of their scheduled activities, including the introduction of two-class services on trunk routes. Passenger numbers peaked in 1989 at 6.2 million (1.8 million on scheduled services).Lack of vertical integration with a tour operator, and an inefficient fleet mix dominated by ageing Boeing 727s and BAC One-Elevens made Dan-Air uncompetitive, resulting in increasing marginalisation and growing financial difficulties as well as a change in senior management and strategy by the early 1990s. Following unsuccessful attempts to merge Dan-Air with a competitor, the ailing airline was sold to British Airways in 1992 for the nominal sum of £1.
View More On Wikipedia.org