17th May 1961

A new type of aircraft debuts on Jersey route

The Handley Page Dart Herald was a short-range regional airline for developing countries, but the manufacturer’s first customer was closer to home. British European Airways ordered three to use in the Scottish Highlands in 1959 and, two years later, Jersey Airlines became the first customer for the upgraded Series 200, which carried 56 passengers in a pressurised cabin. 

Although it would have to wait for its six planes to be manufactured and delivered, it was already looking forward to the major benefit of upgrading to the new craft: lower running costs. Assuming it sold every seat on each crossing, Jersey Airlines would be able to fly customers from the mainland to Jersey and back for just one penny per passenger per mile.

A stopgap measure

The Times reported, “The Herald, which made the Gatwick to Jersey inaugural flight today in about an hour, is one of two 44-seat Series 1 aircraft which Jersey Airlines have leased from Handley Page to tide them over until the six 50-passenger Series 2 Heralds on order are delivered later in the summer. The forward fuselage of these aircraft has been lengthened by 42 inches to accommodate six more seats.”

Sadly, Handley Page wasn’t around for long after the upgraded Herald took to the skies. In March 1970 it went into voluntary liquidation after it found itself unable to compete for government contracts against Hawker Siddeley and the British Aircraft Corporation after nationalisation of the British airline companies.


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