British Eagle International Airlines was a major British independent airline that operated from 1948 until it went into liquidation in 1968. It was founded as Eagle Aviation at Aldermaston. Eagle Aviation began operations in 1948 with two converted Handley Page Halifax bombers used for cargo operations. The same year, the new airline joined the Berlin Airlift. Eagle aviation moved to Luton in 1950. For most of its existence, the company's head office was located in Central London.

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dbpedia-owl:abstract
  • British Eagle International Airlines was a major British independent airline that operated from 1948 until it went into liquidation in 1968. It was founded as Eagle Aviation at Aldermaston. Eagle Aviation began operations in 1948 with two converted Handley Page Halifax bombers used for cargo operations. The same year, the new airline joined the Berlin Airlift. Eagle aviation moved to Luton in 1950. For most of its existence, the company's head office was located in Central London. It began carrying troops under contract to the government in 1951. Operations moved to Blackbushe Airport in 1952, followed a year later by the launch of secondary scheduled services in association with British European Airways (BEA), from whom Eagle had purchased a large fleet of Vickers Vikings. Package holidays to Italy and Spain were offered from 1954, in association with in-house tour operator Sir Henry Lunn Ltd. Between 1955 and 1960, many of the airline's aircraft carried the Eagle Airways operating name. Eagle became a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 1957, the year it formed its first overseas subsidiary to operate scheduled services between Bermuda and New York. Eagle's acquisition of three Douglas DC-6s in 1958 marked the first time it had been permitted to import aircraft. Low-fare scheduled services between Bermuda and New York launched in earnest later that year. These were followed by through-plane services between Bermuda and London using the recently imported DC-6s in an all-economy configuration. Operations moved to Heathrow in 1960 as a result of Blackbushe's closure to commercial traffic. The Cunard Line acquired a controlling stake in Eagle in March 1960 which resulted in the creation of a joint venture company trading as Cunard Eagle. Eagle's founder Harold Bamberg was appointed as aviation director of the company. The new support enabled Cunard Eagle to order two new Boeing 707 jet aircraft in May 1961. The following month, the airline became the first British independent to be licensed as a scheduled carrier between Heathrow and John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York. However, a subsequent appeal to the Aviation Minister by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) against this decision resulted in revocation of Cunard Eagle's transatlantic scheduled licence in November. Pure jet operations began on 27 March 1962, the first by a British independent airline. In June 1962 BOAC-Cunard, a new £30 million company jointly owned by Cunard Line and BOAC, absorbed Cunard Eagle's new jet fleet and scheduled long-haul routes, resulting in cessation of the independent's jet operations. Harold Bamberg's disenchantment with Cunard led to his resignation from the BOAC-Cunard board in 1963, followed by a decision to regain control of Eagle by buying back Cunard's majority shareholding in the airline. This led to reconstitution of the company as British Eagle International Airlines the same year. Following the airline's relaunch as an independent entity, scheduled services commenced between Heathrow and Glasgow Renfrew in November 1963. This was the first time a British independent airline was permitted to compete with BEA on a domestic trunk route. British Eagle expanded its UK domestic scheduled network further by taking over Starways and its Liverpool routes on 31 December 1963. Poor load factors and arbitrary frequency restrictions resulted in British Eagle's temporary suspension of all domestic scheduled flights in February 1965. Limited resumption of UK domestic scheduled services on Heathrow—Glasgow in July 1965 was followed by the relaunch of commercial jet operations between Heathrow and Glasgow on 9 May 1966. Successful completion of the repurchase of Cunard's shareholding at the beginning of 1967 left Harold Bamberg in sole charge of British Eagle. An unsuccessful bid for transatlantic scheduled traffic rights in 1967-68 was followed by the airline's resumption of long-haul jet operations to the Caribbean on a charter basis in February 1968, the highlight of its 20th year of existence. However, complaints from BOAC led to the revocation of British Eagle's Caribbean charter licence at the end of the 1968 summer season. The unexpected loss of the Caribbean licence, the end of trooping and migrant contracts, a decline in overseas travel as a result of the devaluation of sterling and stricter exchange controls as well as the poor state of the economy in general, and bad decisions by senior management undermined the airline's trading position and confidence in its future. The subsequent withdrawal of support by its main backer forced the cessation of operations on 6 November 1968, followed by voluntary liquidation two days later.
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  • British Eagle
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  • EAGLE
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  • 1968 (xsd:integer)
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  • September 2012
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  • 24 (xsd:integer)
  • as of April 1968
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  • 1948 (xsd:integer)
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  • EG
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  • Sir Patrick Dunn
  • A. Tame
  • A.R. Bamberg
  • B. Greaves
  • B.M. Williams
  • Capt J. Michie
  • D. Haslegrave
  • F.F.A. Burden
  • G.D. Peacock
  • G.W. Pitt
  • H.P. Snelling
  • H.R. Bamberg,
  • I. Grant
  • J. Clacher
  • J.H. Sauvage
  • M.A. Guinane
  • N. Ashton-Hill
  • N. Thompson
  • Prof R. Smith
  • S.E. Hoare
  • T. Keane
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  • British eagle logo.svg
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  • British Eagle International Airlines Ltd
  • Eagle Aviation Ltd
  • Eagle International Airlines Ltd
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  • British Eagle International Airlines was a major British independent airline that operated from 1948 until it went into liquidation in 1968. It was founded as Eagle Aviation at Aldermaston. Eagle Aviation began operations in 1948 with two converted Handley Page Halifax bombers used for cargo operations. The same year, the new airline joined the Berlin Airlift. Eagle aviation moved to Luton in 1950. For most of its existence, the company's head office was located in Central London.
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  • British Eagle
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