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BEAline to the Islands


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The story of air services to offshore communities of the British Isles by British European Airways, its predecessors and successors.

By Phil Lo Bao and Iain Hutchison.


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For a quarter of a century, British European Airways Corporation operated an extensive network of air services to Europe and the Near East. Its services were patronised by those who were beneficiaries of air services of the growing affluence which followed World War Two. However, for many people, air travel remained a luxury beyond their grasp and the airline. whic hclaimed to be 'Foremost in Europe', had an elitist appeal to the travellers of the 1950s and 1960s.

Yet there was another BEA. This was the BEA which provided lifeline services to island communities around the British Isles. The airline's relationship with islanders was sometimes a turbulent one but these air links were jealously guarded. BEA's Rapides and Pionairs provided utilitarian flying but it was 'real' flying. BEAline to the Islands records the story of this BEA.

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