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January 12, 1999.
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L-1011 News (Year 2004)
All information posted here is believed to be correct, but without any guarantees. If you have any corrections or comments, please email them to Ryosuke Yano.
December 27, 2004
Sky Gate International Aviation [Jordan] announced that they will acquire three L-1011-250s from Delta Air Lines to supplement its sole L-1011-250, JY-SGI (msn 1234). Aircraft involved are N737D (msn 1228), N1739D (msn 1237), and N741DA (msn 1245). This brings the company's TriStar fleet to four. Sky Gate mainly flies charters in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Gee Bee Airlines [Greece] will lease L-1011-200F N102CK (msn 1198). The aircraft will be wet-leased to Freedom Airways, which will in turn operate it on behalf of FOS Logistics [Cyprus] on routes from Europe to China via the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and India. Gee Bee Airlines is currently applying for an air operator's certificate (AOC) with the government of Cyprus. The company was unable to obtain a certificate in Greece.
World Air Leasing Gambia [Gambia] is working to re-register its sole aircraft, L-1011-50 C5-WAL (msn 1066), in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The airline hopes to ferry the aircraft for a C-check by the end of the year, which would enable them to operate Hajj flights for 2005.
November 4, 2004
Air Transat [Canada] retired its last L-1011, C-GTSZ (msn 1103) on October 12 as scheduled, putting a period to the airline's long association with the trijet that lasted for over 16 years. Pre-9/11 plans called for the L-1011s to be kept in service until 2006, but soaring fuel prices together with competition and the availability of more fuel-efficient aircraft on the secondhand market led the airline to retire its trijets earlier. Meanwhile on October 30, Air Transat's service to Paris Charles de Gaulle operated by an Airbus A330 had the honor of becoming the last scheduled passenger flight to depart from Montreal's Mirabel Airport. It departed Mirabel at 20:55 local time. All passenger operations have since been consolidated at Dorval Airport and Mirabel is responsible for cargo flights only.
ATA Airlines [USA] filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 26. There are no immediate plans to phase out the remaining five L-1011s however, they may consider retiring them when D-checks are due if their Boeing 757s prove adequate for the military charters. A D-check of a TriStar, or a complete overhaul of it, costs more than purchasing a L-1011 off the secondhand market.
World Air Leasing Gambia [Gambia] rolled out its L-1011 C5-WAL (msn 1066) in their colors at Hondo, Texas, USA at the end of September. The aircraft is now scheduled to be ferried to Port of Spain, Trinidad for a C-check. However, its plans have been delayed a little, and entry into service is now set for December 1. Meanwhile, the company is also showing interest in acquiring Boeing 747s.
Orbital Science Corporation's [USA] L-1011-100 N140SC (msn 1067) "Stargazer" departed Mojave Airport for Vandenburg on October 19. There it will pick up a Pegasus launch rocket carrying the OSC/NASA DART spacecraft. These few years only saw Orbital's TriStar being used for pilot recurrency, but it is now back to carry out experiments.
September 23, 2004
Air Transat [Canada] will operate its last L-1011 flight on October 12. The round-trip Montreal (Mirabel) - Las Vegas flight will be operated by L-1011-50 C-GTSZ (msn 1103) and seats are reserved exclusively for its employees, and tickets will be attributed by seniority. A flight operations team is organizing festivities for the celebration marking the end of TriStar operations. The team is composed of Simon Lavoie, Vice-President Flight Operations; Pierre Tremblay, Chief Pilot L-1011; Alain Allaire, Instructor; and, Philippe Lortie, Captain L-1011. This large-scale event will be followed by a final farewell celebration that will take place simultaneously at the airline's three bases at Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal (Mirabel) on October 20.
World Air Leasing Gambia [Gambia] will lease former Northeast Airlines L-1011-50 3D-NEG (msn 1066) from TriStar Capital. The aircraft will be operated by West African Link [Gambia] on scheduled and charter flights from Banjul. It has already been re-registered C5-WAL and is currently being repainted and having its interior modified by Jet Center Aviation at Hondo, Texas. According to the airline, delivery will take place around September 25 and operations are set to commence on October 11. Additional L-1011s may be acquired. A homepage has been opened at www.flywal.com.
Joasro Aviation [Lebanon] has agreed to purchase the remaining four L-1011-500s that are owned by Air Transat [Canada]. They will be remarketed for dry- or wet-lease by Globejet Airlines. Aircraft involved are C-FTSW (msn 1246), C-GATM (msn 1236), C-GTSP (msn 1242), and C-GTSR (msn 1239). Three are already destined to be leased to Gee Bee Airlines [Greece] (see below). Meanwhile C-FTNG (msn 1048) and C-GTSZ (msn 1103) will be broken up by Skylink, a Toronto-based company.
Gee Bee Airlines [Greece] has reached an agreement with Joasro Aviation to lease three L-1011-500s. Aircraft involved are C-FTSW (msn 1246), C-GTSR (msn 1239), and C-GATM (msn 1236), and they will be re-registered SX-CVA, SX-CVB, SX-CVD, respectively. The contract was signed in July, but funding delays had forced them to delay the delivery of these aircraft. The initial plan called for deliveries starting on July 22.
West Air [Swaziland] is a new TriStar operator flying charter flights from South Africa with L-1011-200 3D-AAB (msn 1201). Formerly with TradeWinds Airlines as N75AA, the aircraft was purchased from Waldo I. Morris through Universal Air Trading on April 22 and was ferried from Greensboro to Johannesburg via Dakar between June 11 and 14.
Trilan 1 Corporation [USA] will purchase three L-1011-200Fs that were formerly operated by Arrow Air. Aircraft involved are N260FA (msn 1158), N307GB (msn 1131), and N308GB (msn 1133). They will be leased to Star Air [Jordan] for charter cargo operations on behalf of Lanta Aviation [Monaco]. N102CK (msn 1198), which remains parked at Amman's Queen Alia Airport will also be purchased and leased to the same Jordanian airline.
Yes Linhas Aereas Charter [Portugal] had planned to retire their sole L-1011-500 CS-TMX (msn 1206) in September, however, they will retain the aircraft for ad-hoc operations and as a back-up until the end of summer 2005. A Boeing 767-300ER will be wet-leased to replace the L-1011 on regular charter flights while it decides on the acquisition of a new long-range aircraft; either the Airbus A330 or 767.
ATA Airlines [USA] retired L-1011-50 N188AT (msn 1078) on September 8. It was ferried from Indianapolis to Roswell as flight TZ7262, for long-term storage. This leaves ATA's L-1011 fleet at five aircraft, of which four are L-1011-500s. All are currently deployed exclusively on military charter flights. Although these five are planned to be retained through 2005, recent financial troubles may force them to change the plan.
July 20, 2004
Luzair's [Portugal] L-1011-500 CS-TMR (msn 1241) made an emergency stop at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on July 6th. Operated by Air Luxor [Portugal] on behalf of Dutch Caribbean Exel [Netherlands Antilles], flight K8 2000, on its way from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, was forced to make an emergency stop on the runway due to a problem with one of its engines, resulting in some severe damage to the aircraft including the blowing of seven of its 10 tires. The TriStar blocked the runway for several hours before it was towed off for inspection. So Dutch Caribbean Exel leased Luzair's other L-1011-500, CS-TMP (msn 1248) to fill the role, but on July 11th, this aircraft made a similar emergency stop this time at Curacao, resulting in the blow of four tires. An official of the Caribbean airline was sent to Portugal to discuss the matter. Fortunately in both cases, all passengers were able to evacuate safely.
Air Rum [Jordan] continues to expand its TriStar fleet. An additional two L-1011s have been acquired from Orient Thai Airlines [Thailand] bringing the total number of the type to five. Aircraft involved are L-1011-1s XU-100 (msn 1156) and HS-UTA (msn 1225) and these are to receive new registrations in July. Air Rum says that they are interesting in acquiring more L-1011s to further expand its charter business.
Arrow Air [USA] received court approval on June 10th for its reorganization plan and is now emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. However, part of the plan calls for standardizing its fleet on McDonnell Douglas MD-11 or DC-10 freighters, or both, and previous plans to reactivate L-1011-200Fs have been shelved. The company currently operates eight Douglas DC-8 freighters.
July 1, 2004
Jordan Aviation [Jordan] is the latest operator of the L-1011. They have leased L-1011-500 JY-JOE (msn 1243) from Joasro Aviation [Lebanon], who previously leased the aircraft to Sky Gate International Aviation [Jordan] as 3D-JOE. The aircraft is currently being used on ad-hoc charter flights and the company is planning to add one more L-1011-500. The aircraft involved is likely to be C-GTSP (msn 1242), which is still owned by Air Transat [Canada].
Star Air [Jordan] will lease a second L-1011-200F, which will be N102CK (msn 1198). Together with freighter 9L-LDZ (msn 1212), it is to be operated on behalf of DHL Worldwide. Also, the Jordan charter airline intends to resume passenger services with a new base at Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, initially using 9L-LDR (msn 1179). 9L-LDN (msn 1221) is expected to follow at a later date and plans are under way to acquire their third passenger L-1011: 9L-LED (msn 1222).
Air Rum [Jordan] has acquired another L-1011, again from Orient Thai Airlines [Thailand]. The aircraft involved is 9L-LEU (msn 1226), which previously served the Thai carrier as HS-UTG. A total of three TriStars now make up Air Rum's fleet, though one example is currently wet-leased to Libyan Arab Airlines [Libya].
May 29, 2004
Air Transat [Canada] movements. C-FTSW (msn 1246) was withdrawn from service on May 17 and C-GTSR (msn 1239) followed about a week later, leaving the fleet with just two TriStars: C-FTNG (msn 1048) and C-GTSZ (msn 1103). Meanwhile, C-GATH (msn 1235) was scrapped around May 17-18 and C-FTNL (msn 1073) met the same fate on May 21. Although C-FTNG is also destined for retirement by the end of the month, C-GTSZ will be retained through September as back-up equipment. It will mainly be based at Toronto.
Euro Atlantic Airways [Portugal] is currently operating L-1011-500 CS-TEB (msn 1240) for Dublin-based AviaJet [Ireland]. The wet-lease arrangement with Air Algerie [Algeria] and BWIA West Indies [Trinidad and Tobago] was terminated in October 2003. Although the Portuguese charter airline is planning to replace its sole TriStar with a Boeing 767, the aircraft will likely continue flying as a back-up at least until the end of 2005.
Delta Air Lines [USA] has sold off 24 TriStars; 13 were purchased by Wells Fargo Bank Northwest and 11 were bought by Jet Midwest. The latter company has already posted two aircraft, N721DA (msn 1139) and N729DA (msn 1180), for sale. Additional aircraft will be remarketed, but some are likely to be dismantled for spare parts. All of these aircraft remain stored at Victorville. Delta ended L-1011 operations in July 2001.
May 1, 2004
Air Rum [Jordan] is expanding its TriStar fleet. They recently reached an agreement with Orient Thai Airlines [Thailand] to acquire two of their L-1011s: HS-UTE (msn 1199) and HS-UTF (msn 1213). The former aircraft was delivered at the end of March and is now registered 9L-LEQ, and the latter is to follow within the next few weeks. Negotiations have already started to purchase a further two L-1011s from the same source. Meanwhile, the ACMI (aircraft-crew-maintenance-insurance) lease contract with Libyan Arab Airlines [Libya], which is being operated by 9L-LDV (msn 1200), has been extended.
Orient Thai Airlines [Thailand] has ended all L-1011 operations. All three aircraft; HS-UTA (msn 1225), HS-UTE (msn 1199), and HS-UTG (msn 1226) had been withdrawn from service by April 11th. Plans to add further TriStars have been shelved, concentrating on strengthening its Boeing 747 and 757 fleet from now on. HS-UTF (msn 1213) never entered service with the airline. Sister company Kampuchea Airlines [Kampuchea / Cambodia] has also ended L-1011 operations.
March 24, 2004
Sky Eyes Airways [Thailand] is the new operator of the world's sole L-1011-1F, N311EA (msn 1012), which previously served with TradeWinds Airlines [USA]. It is now owned by Sky Victory International Ltd of Hong Kong and leased to the Thai airline. Now registered HS-SEB, the aircraft wears the basic TradeWinds' livery except for the titles, and is expected to enter service on regional freight charters. The company has operated the Antonov An-24 and An-12 in the past.
Air Transat's [Canada] current L-1011 retirement schedule is as follows: L-1011-150 C-FTNG (msn 1048) will be phased out on May 1st, L-1011-500 C-FTSW (msn 1246) will follow on May 17th, and L-1011-500 C-GTSR (msn 1239) will follow on May 24th. Meanwhile, their last TriStar will be L-1011-50 C-GTSZ (msn 1103), to be retained until September 30th. C-GATM (msn 1236) was retired in March. The Canadian charter airline recently reached an agreement to sell C-GATM, C-GTSP (msn 1243) and C-GTSR through a marketing company named Globe Jet.
Arrow Air [USA], which is under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, has grounded its L-1011 freighter fleet. N307GB (msn 1131) was ferried to Roswell, USA for storage on March 4th and N308GB (msn 1133) headed for the same airport during the March 20-21 weekend. Further, any plans to reactivate N306GB (msn 1138) have been shelved. Pending the airline's emergence from Chapter 11, the company will only be operating a fleet of eight Douglas DC-8 freighters.
Northeast Airlines' [Swaziland] sole L-1011-1 3D-NEG (msn 1066) was ferried from Dakar, Senegal to Dallas (Love Field), USA via Barbados and Ft. Lauderdale to appear in a movie. The aircraft currently wears false titles spelling "Serbair" and also a false registration. The fuselage of N783DL (msn 1009) will also be used in the same movie, and both 3D-NEG and N783DL are to resemble the same aircraft.
International Air Express Liberia [Liberia] may acquire the remaining two former Caledonian L-1011-100s from bankrupt Ducor World Airlines [Liberia]. Aircraft involved are G-BBAE (msn 1083) and G-BBAJ (msn 1106). The Liberian airline currently operates A8-AAA (msn 1101) and A8-AAB (msn 1093), both of which are ex-Caledonian, on behalf of Georgian Cargo Airlines [Georgia].
February 26, 2004
Orient Thai Airlines [Thailand] will take delivery of N1732D (msn 1213) in April, and it is to be registered HS-UTF. The fast-growing Thai airline currently operates three TriStars: HS-UTA (msn 1225), HS-UTE (msn 1199) and HS-UTG (msn 1226), which was officially purchased on December 23, 2003 and delivered to Bangkok three days later. HS-UTA and HS-UTE are currently assigned to Orient Thai's One-Two-Go low-fare operations to supplement Boeing 757-200s. Meanwhile, retired L-1011 XU-700 (msn 1055) will be donated to Pima Community College in Tucson, USA in April. The airline's first L-1011 XU-600 (msn 1043) was donated to the same school three years ago.
Beirut-based newcomer Joasro Aviation [Lebanon] has purchased two L-1011-500s from Air Transat [Canada]. Aircraft involved are C-GTSP (msn 1242) and C-GTSQ (msn 1243). The purchase was completed on January 9th, and C-GTSQ was ferried to Amman's Queen Alia Airport for maintenance by JORAMCO on January 14th and is now based at Damascus, Syria with the new registration 3D-JOE. It is currently being operated by partner Sky Gate International Aviation [Jordan], which already operates TriStar 250 JY-SGI (msn 1234). C-GTSP will be delivered in March.
Star Air [Jordan] has placed its L-1011-200F 9L-LDZ (msn 1212) in service. It is currently operating freight charters mainly between Africa and Europe, mostly on behalf of DHL Worldwide, and it was also involved in ferrying relief supplies to Afghanistan and Iraq at the beginning of January. Star Air currently operates a total of three TriStars, and is expected to receive their fourth in March. The aircraft concerned is ex-BWIA West Indies [Trinidad and Tobago] 9Y-THA (msn 1222) and it will be registered 9L-LED. Further, they also have plans to acquire the remaining five ex-Kitty Hawk L-1011-200Fs.
Air Universal [Jordan] seems to be close to finalizing their deal to acquire up to about 20 L-1011s from Delta Air Lines [USA]. A group of mechanics have been sent to Victorville to reactivate the first three L-1011s, and the first of the batch will be L-1011-1 N790DL (msn 1143), which is expected to be delivered in March. The company intends to reactivate the newer aircraft while older examples are to be dismantled for spare parts. Air Universal currently operates two L-1011s: -100 9L-LDC (msn 1231) and -250 9L-LDE (msn 1244).
Northeast Airlines [Swaziland] has resumed operations with a fleet of one L-1011 and three Boeing 747-200Bs. The TriStar involved is L-1011-50 3D-NEG (msn 1066) and it is now based in Dakar, Senegal. Although this aircraft was originally leased to Northeast Bolivian Airlines [Bolivia], it was decided not to launch operations due to "economical and political" reasons. Also, NE Airlines will likely have their first L-1011 3D-NEC (msn 1096) released by the airport authorities of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso by April, now that the problem is being resolved in court.
Air Transat [Canada] has agreed to purchase four Airbus A310-300s from Lufthansa [Germany] to replace the remaining five L-1011s, however, there have been some changes in the retirement plan. L-1011-50 C-GTSZ (1103) and L-1011-500 C-GTSR (msn 1239) will be retired by the end of March, but L-1011-150 C-FTNG (msn 1048) and -500s C-FTSW (msn 1246) and C-GATM (msn 1236) are likely to be retained until the end of the 2004 summer season as back-up equipment, though they will be phased-out from scheduled operations by April.
Air Luxor [Portugal] has sold its two L-1011-500s to Luzair [Portugal], a member of the Air Luxor/Net Jet Lisbon group. Air Luxor will standardize its fleet on Airbus jetliners, with Airbus A330-200s taking the place of the TriStars. Both aircraft received maintenance and minor scheme changes, including the deletion of titles; CS-TMR (msn 1241) at Abu Dhabi, UAE January 4-22 and CS-TMP (msn 1248) at Dubai, UAE January 19-25. When they enter service with Luzair, they will be named Sunbird and Thunderbird.
Arrow Air [USA] for the second time filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after only emerging from their first in May 2002. Although the strongest bidder HIG Capital, which is Amerijet's parent, withdrew their offer, others including TradeWinds, Viva International, Florida West, Universal Express and Cielos del Peru have been named as potential buyers. On a brighter note, Arrow Air will continue operations and it plans to reactivate L-1011-200F N306GB (msn 1138) in March for a total of three TriStar freighters.
Air Rum [Jordan] is operating its sole L-1011-1 9L-LDV (msn 1200) on behalf of Libyan Arab Airlines [Libya]. The wet-lease contract came into effect on October 7, 2003. Air Rum is one of many Jordanian startups, and is currently planning to expand by acquiring additional L-1011s. They are looking for L-1011-100s and possibly -500s. A new website has been opened at www.airrum.com.
TradeWinds Airlines [USA] retired L-1011-1F N311EA (msn 1012) on January 10th, ending 13 years of TriStar operations. Though this aircraft was the only L-1011 freighter operated by the airline, and also the only -1 that has been converted to this configuration so far, the Greensboro-based airline leased a number of passenger TriStars in the mid-1990s for charter services until problems with the lessors arose. N311EA departed Greensboro for its new home in Thailand on February 23 via Oakland.
Lyon's Saint Exupery Airport will have an ex-Air Transat [Canada] L-1011 preserved and displayed at the site. The aircraft involved is C-FTNA (msn 1019), which has been stored at the airport since July 6, 2001 when it encountered hail not long after takeoff and returned. Due to the extent of damage and the age of the aircraft, it was declared an insurance write-off and was originally destined to be scrapped. Now, guided tours are already being offered and schools are already taking advantage of this to allow students get in touch with airplanes. In the future, it may also be used for training purposes. Meanwhile, preservation of N783DL (msn 1009) by the Lost Birds Aviation Foundation at Mojave Airport did not materialize due to a lack of finance and the aircraft was scrapped in February.