THE LIVERPOOL OPERATION
After many months of speculation of a takeover of Starways at Speke Liverpool
by either Cambrian or Eagle for a competitive half a million pounds to three quarters a million it was finally announced that as of 19th November 1963 Starways had signed an initial co-operation agreement with British Eagle.
Thus began the British Eagle link with Liverpool and an increase in Eagles domestic routes. On January 1964 British Eagle took over all Starways routes. On January 1st the old Skyways routes were operated by Britannia G-AOVT and Viscounts G-AMOC AND G-AOCC.
It was reported that an outstanding feature in the success of the new organisation
was the integration of previous Starways staff with Eagle staff. This had provided an efficient combination of local knowledge with the experience and resources
of the now parent company.
Eagle offered its passengers the same standards of service and comfort that
was the norm for any Eagle operation. It was said that as a result of Eagles
high standard of service to its passengers the state airline BEA was forced to follow.
Yet once again the state airline was to apply it tricks for sandwiching the Eagle flights. This seems to have had little effect as Eagles high standards won the day, at least on the Liverpool route to London. BEA was forced to follow.
It was not long before the maintenance side of the operation at Speke became a
hive of activity. Relieving the work load at Heathrow. Aircraft checks on Viscount and Britannia aircraft were being completed there along with two Britannia freight door conversions (G-AOVM AND G-AOVF).
For a period of time Eagle operated its Viscounts with the name of Starways painted on the fuselage. They also leased more viscount from Channel Airways. For a short time they purchase three c-54’s and used two of them for Ex Starways inclusive tours.
Following the purchase of BAC 1-11 these aircraft were to be seen frequently
on the ramp at Speke.
Sadly by 1968 the airline situation was becoming serious and large numbers of staff
in the maintenance department at Speke were made redundant.
A skeleton staff were kept on for turnarounds.
(more to follow)
Viscount G-AOCB David Fielding
Viscount G-ATFN Gerry manning
Dove G-AROI Gerry Manning