Bob O’Brien tells how Britannia Airways’ fleet of ‘baby Boeings’ helped meet people’s aspirations to jet to holiday destinations in the Med and beyond.

Britannia Airways was the first airline in Europe to operate the Boeing 737-200.

The tide started going out for British seaside resorts nearly 60 years ago. Brighton was traded for Benidorm, and Blackpool for Barcelona. A trickle of people taking foreign holidays eventually turned into a torrent. Sun, sea and sangria summed up an increasing number of Briton’s holidays in the 1960s and 1970s and Britannia Airways was perfectly placed to fulfil people’s dreams as the first charter airline to embrace the latest generation of jet technology. Government pressure to ‘buy British’ was ignored as the company went on to establish a long-lasting partnership with an American manufacturer.

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