Operators <<


British Airways, the national British carrier, formed from BEA and BOAC in 1974, inherited aircraft from BEA and Northeast. Three aircraft were recovered from Cyprus Airways after its fleet were attacked on the ground at Nicosia, Cyprus, by the Turkish Airforce in 1974.  Eventually they would operate all variants (1C, 1E, 2E, 3B).  All were retired from service by the end of 1985, with the last few 3Bs being flown to various airports as fire trainers during the first quarter of 1986.




BEA operated the 1C, 2E and 3B and purchased 1Es from Channel Airways for subsidiary Northeast upon the bankruptcy of the former.  BEA merged with BOAC in 1974 to form British Airways and the aircraft adopted "British airways" titles on the then current "Speed Jack" BEA livery until the aircraft were repainted by the late 1970s.  The Trident had been designed around BEA's need for a fast short to medium haul airliner and the subsequent longer range 2E and higher capacity 3B versions were also designed to meet with BEA's needs.




Northeast was the new name for BKS, upon the completion of the acquisition of 100% of its shares by BEA in 1970.  Upon the merger of parent company BEA with BOAC to form British Airways in 1974, Northeast ceased to exist with a separate identity and became part of British Airways.




BKS.  Formed by James Barnby, Thomas Keegan and Cyril Stevens in 1952, the a 30% stake was acquired by BEA in 1964 and placed under the umbrella of holding company British Air Services which also owned Welsh airline Cambrian.  Two Trident 1Es were purchased new in 1969.  The following year the airline was purchased entirely by BEA and became Northeast.



Channel Airways purchased two 1E aircraft which were sold to BEA in 1971 a year before they ceased operations altogether.  Channel was a fore-runner of the modern day tour operators and low cost carriers in that they operated with the maximum density of seating and aimed to make the fares as affordable as possible.  They struggled through their time of ownership of the Tridents, 'YE being out of service for some while as a spares source for 'YB.  Their aircraft went to Northeast and then to British Airways. 'YE was initially preserved at the Science Museum storage facility at Wroughton, Wiltshire, but after they acquired the larger 3B, G-AWZM, 'YE was B/U in 1987 and the forward fuselage ended up as a fire trainer at Hatfield, subsequently broken up when the Hatfield site was cleared.




Kuwait Airways purchased two 1E aircraft.  One crashed in 1966, but the other - which is believed to be the fastest Trident built - went on to fly for first Cyprus Airways and then British Airways..




Iraqi Airways purchased three aircraft which were withdrawn in 1977.




PIA sold its aircraft on to China which prompted them to order 35 more new models from Hawker Siddeley.




Air Ceylon operated one aircraft, 4R-ACN which was originally to go to Channel as G-AVYA which was withdrawn in 1978 and scrapped in 1998.




Cyprus Airways was partly owned by BEA/British Airways and was leased some aircraft by them.  Most were damaged or destroyed at Nicosia by the Turkish air force during the war of 1974.  Three ex-Cyprus aircraft (G-AVFB, G-ASWU and G-AZXM) were repaired and ferried back and put into BA service.



CAAC placed a significant order for 35 series 2Es having purchased second-hand 1Es from PIA.  They also purchased two Super 3Bs with increased fuel capacity over BA's 3Bs.  Some aircraft were passed on to the Air Force and some to China United (CUA) which was an airline operated by the Air Force.  A small number of aircraft continued to fly for Air China in the 1990s.  Many were broken up and some had been lost in various accidents but a number still exist in one shape or another around China.




ACS (Air Charter Service) of Zaire purchased four 3B aircraft from British Airways in the mid eighties and a fifth to use as a spares source.  These were not in service long and all were broken up by 1989.


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