Openskies 767 has last flight to South Wales

Openskies 767 F-HILU turns off the runway at MOD St Athan (Image: Ian Grinter/SWAG)
Openskies 767 F-HILU turns off the runway at MOD St Athan (Image: Ian Grinter/SWAG)

Transatlantic specialist Openskies (LV/BOS) ceased operations at the beginning of September 2018 and just days later, its last Boeing 767 took its final flight, to St Athan in South Wales.

Openskies, sometimes called BA Openskies was set up in 2008 by International Airlines Group in an effort to reduce British Airways’ dependency on London Heathrow (LHR/EGLL) for transatlantic business flights between Europe and the East Coast of America.

Starting with two ex-BA Boeing 757 aircraft (G-BPEK and G-BPEJ) the airline operated from Paris Orly (ORY/LPFO) to New York’s JFK and Newark Airports as well as Washington. A third 757 joined the fleet, F-HAVI following a takeover of Business class only airline, L’Avion.

During its operational life Openskies also operated flights from Amsterdam to JFK but these proved economically unviable and were cancelled shortly afterwards.

BA transferred a Boeing 767-300 (G-BNWI) to Openskies in 2016 as it phased out the type from BA service and it was re-registered as F-HILU.

It operated for Openskies until the last day of operations before being being flown to St Athan where it was withdrawn from use and stored awaiting its fate.

F-HILU was delivered so British Airways on the 18th December 1990 as G-BNWI (MSN24341). She was built at Boeings plant at Everette Washington and was the 342nd aircraft on the line.

It is unknown whether the aircraft will be sold but at nearly 28 years old, it is likely that St Athan will be its final resting place, as it has been for many other aircraft.

International Airlines Group (IAG) has replaced Openskies at Paris Orly with flights operated by its low-lost long haul start up Level who fly  to Montreal, Point a Pitre, Fort De France and Newark from the french capital.

About Nick Harding 503 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.