[COLUMN] 1984 B747-200 G-VIRG Virgin Atlantic: The dream...

Pictures and stories from Maastricht Airport in the early years.
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[COLUMN] 1984 B747-200 G-VIRG Virgin Atlantic: The dream...

Postby Guido » 04 Mar 2017, 14:40

Summer 1984. A summer as always at EHBK/MST with regular pax-flights to AMS and LGW by NLM CityHopper. Transavia, Spantax, Aviaco, JAT, Hispania, and Air Holland were responsible for the charterflights to the sun. At the cargo we had Emery Worldwide and Air Algerie on a mostly daily service...
But what MST didn't have was a intercontinal connection with a big city somewhere on the globe...

Even the airportauthorities must have had doubts when they received a flightplan from an airliner named Virgin Atlantic for the flight LGW-MST-LGW with as callsign Golf Victor India Romeo Golf, and as type of aircraft a B747. Doubts, because when the 747 reported at MST Approach the controller asked the pilot: "Please request your type of aircraft."
"Ah... Golf Rome Golf, we are a Boeing seven four seven, Sir."
I wasn't there that day but the happy few who where there told me about the chaos, suddenly appreared on the A-apron after this anouncement...
Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Atlantic proudly announced that day a daily regular flight with his B747 towards New York via London Gatwick. Maastricht became Virgin's continental hub. The news of the new flight even reached the Dutch Eight o'clock news and the newspapers were filled with Richard Branson's new plans from Beek...
But not everyone was happy...
Somewhere in the Dutch Blue the news was heard too. So it took months before Virgin became her permit for the new service, but not in the way Branson thought it would be. The Rijksluchtvaartdienst did not allowed a direct flight via LGW, where the 747 would have made a fuelstop, and pick up the LGW pax. No, it must had been a different airplane and not a 747. Virgin was forced to lease another plane for their MST operations unfortunally.
The first intercontinental connection at Maastricht was killed, before it even would have started...

As I wasn't there on that summerday when the G-VIRG came in the first time, I must show you a pic of December 1984, when Branson took his employee's out for a day Christmasshopping in Maastricht, using his 747 G-VIRG as transportation. Unfortunally a pocketcam pic. If anyone has a decent pic of the G-VIRG on that Decemberday 1984, or of the first flight in the summer of 1984 you may post it below. Please no other airports, because I do have a better pic of the VIRG at LGW, but that doesn't give the touch to this topic...

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Re: [COLUMN] 1984 B747-200 G-VIRG Virgin Atlantic: The dream...

Postby marcel66 » 04 Mar 2017, 16:17

Nice report Guido as usual.

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Re: [COLUMN] 1984 B747-200 G-VIRG Virgin Atlantic: The dream...

Postby Berg » 05 Mar 2017, 10:28

I was there for twenty seconds on the way to work, Guido. The plane was so nearby end to huge for my camera.

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Re: [COLUMN] 1984 B747-200 G-VIRG Virgin Atlantic: The dream...

Postby cargolouk » 07 Mar 2017, 16:58

Kind Regards/Greetz

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