MIAMI – Today in Aviation, the iconic charter carrier Britannia Airways (BY) is born after the rebranding of Euravia in 1964.

Euravia commenced operations on May 5, 1962. With a fleet of three Lockheed Constellations the airline operated flights on behalf of Inclusive Tour company Universal Sky Holidays from its London Luton (LTN) base.

The new carrier was an overnight success. In October that year Euravia purchased rival Skyways for just £1. The takeover expanded the fleet with three more Constellations and four Avro Yorks.

Euravia started life with a fleet of four Lockheed Constellations in 1962. (Photo: RuthAS, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Welcome The Britannia


In 1964 BOAC put a number of its Bristol Britannia 102s up for sale. Euravia was looking to grow the business further and management decided to purchase six examples at a cost of £1 million.

Jed Williams, one of the airlines founders had always considered Euravia a “lousy name for an airline.” He and co-founder Ted Langton, choose to rebrand the carrier as Britannia Airways to mark the arrival of these new airliners.

Euravia was rebranded as Britannia Airways following the arrival of the Bristol Britannia purchased from BOAC. (Photo: Ken Fielding/https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenfielding, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Ground Breaking Airline


BY would go on to become the world’s largest holiday airline. It became the first charter carrier to introduce allocated seating, hot inflight meals and free inflight entertainment. They were also the first airline in Europe to operate both the Boeing 737-200 and 767.

Britannia Airways became the first airline to introduce the Boeing 767-200 in February 1984 (Photo: Dale Coleman (GFDL 1.2 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html or GFDL 1.2 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html), via Wikimedia Commons)

The illustrious Britannia name flew on until 2004 when it was rebranded as Thomsonfly. Today the airline is known simply as TUI Airways, the fourth largest carrier in the UK.


Featured image: Britannia Airways was once the world’s largest holiday airline and one of the most well-respected brands in the industry. (Photo: G B_NZ, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)