Airlines Remembered

Euralair Horizon

Photos © R.Leeuw


Ceased operations: 03Nov03
Homebase: Paris-LeBourget, France
Founded: 2000
ICAO callsign: Euralair Horizons
Prefix IATA: RN / ICAO: EUH
Operations: Passengers

(c) Ruud Leeuw
Boeing 737-85F F-GRND (28827/467) at Amsterdam IAP June 2000.

Euralair was originally formed on Oct.1964 as an air-taxi and executive charter company.
During 1966 the foundation waslayed down for a subsidiary company, with the aim to increase its share for charter flights. Euralair was born and became public transport licence. During 1968 Euralair launched its first charter flights on behalf of the French national retirement fund of the building workers (the CNRO), which purchased two Fokker 27's and entrusted the flight operations to Euralair.
Four years later the Fokkers were replaced by jets: Caravelles. They were operated with 2 cockpit crewmembers (unlike Air France and Air Inter with 3). During 1979 the Caravelle saw replacement upcoming when Euralair ordered 5 Boeing 737s. 1987 was a decisive year, in which Euralair replaced its business aircraft fleet (Falcons and Cessna Citations) and became the launch customer of the Boeing 737-500. Also a cooperation agreement was signed with Air France.
The next year Euralair purchased 2 BAe 146s, operating them for the Australian group TNT and thus entering a new market: the overnight express mail carrier market. Routes were flown throughout Europe. In 1991, with the advent of the deregulations of European skies, Euralair took on the scheduled flight operations which started with flying the Paris/Orly to Madrid route.
In 1995 Air France decided to cancel the Air Charter contract. Euralair was back on its own as a charter operator. In exchange for slots at Orly, a 10 percent share was obtained in Air Liberté. But Air Liberté faltered that year, bringing little business advantage.
During 1999 Euralair became the first French airline to operate the Boeing 737-800, taking delivery of two of these. while disposing of two 737-200s. Furthermore, Euralair started a business aviation ground handling company at its Le Bourget base - Euralair Airport Services - and became a member of the ExxonMobil Avitat network. Two more Boeing 737-800s followed in 2000 and that year a contract was signed with Go Voyages (Accord Group).
A year later Euralair Horizons was founded and 1 more 737-800s was added, bringing the total fleet of Boeing 737-800s to five.
During 2002 the network expanded with a partnership with Nas Air from Mali. A service was launched using an Airbus A310-300 (seating 248), introducing Bamako plus various other locations throughout West Africa.
But dark clouds were on Euralair's horizon... During Nov.2003 Euralair had filed for bankruptcy protection; the airline continued normal operations and tried desperately to balance the books. Euralair Horizons and Euralair International were saved from liquidation owing to a last-minute takeover offer from UK-based Angel Gate Aviation (reportedly paying Euro 100,000 for Euralair Horizons and an equal amount for its business aircraft operations, Euralair International.
It seems that the name Euralair faded to history, since the company was restarted as Air Horizons during Feb. 2004.

F-GRNA Boeing 737-85F 28823 / 174 Y184, lsf GATX / op in Voyages FRAM-colors
F-GRNB Boeing 737-85F 28824 / 180 Y184, lsf GATX / op in Go Voyages-colors
F-GRNC Boeing 737-85F 28821 / 151 Y184, lsf GATX / op in Voyages FRAM-colors
F-GRND Boeing 737-85F 28827 / 467 Y184, lsf GATX / op in Go Voyages-colors
F-GRNE Boeing 737-86J 30568 / 793 Y184, lsf GATX / op in Voyages FRAM-colors
F-GRNS Airbus Industrie A310-304 432C18Y230

Sources:
JP Airline Fleets, 2003 edition
http://www.euralair.com/historiqueeng.html
Thomas Jaeger Newsletters


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