When Luton-based BAe 146 operator Debonair ceased operations on 30 September 1999, its fleet of two series 100s and ten series 200s was grounded. Although BAe 146s are in considerable demand, the sudden influx of such a large number of aircraft made it difficult to place them. The situation was further complicated by the large number of lessors involved. Three series 200s, which had been used on behalf of Swissair Express, quickly found a home with Flightline, who picked up the Swissair Express contract. These are G-DEFK (msn E2012 ex G-DEBK), DEFL (msn E2014 ex G-DEBL), G-DEFM (msn E2016 ex G-DEBM), and G-DEBE (msn E2022). One of the series 100s, G-MABR (msn E1015 ex G-DEBN), also was quickly picked up British Regional Airlines for their operations on behalf of British Airways. The five series 200s which had been used on behalf of Lufthansa had been expected to be taken over by British Midland Commuter, but difficulties in reaching agreement with the lessors led British Midland to seek other aircraft, although it still ultimately ended up with several former Debonair aircraft, including G-CLHA (msn E2024 ex G-DEBC) and G-CLHD (msn E2023 ex G-DEBF), plus OY-RCA (msn E2045 ex G-DEBH) on lease from Atlantic Airways. As a result of these complications, several of the 146s were stored at various airports over the last few months. However, all have now found homes, although some are still undergoing maintenance prior to returning to service. Three 146s are heading to Australia, G-DEBD (msn E2034) to Airlink, G-DEBG (msn E2040) to Southern Australia, and G-DEBJ (msn E1004) to National Jet Systems, while G-DEBA (msn E2028) is at Woodford being prepared for WDL.
Recent news items on Debonair:
- BRAL adds former Debonair BAe 146 (2000-01-22)
- Former Debonair BAe 146 returns to Australia (1999-12-31)
- Debonair aftermath: Flightline and British Midland pick up the pieces (1999-10-30)
- Debonair grounded (1999-09-30)
- WDL BAe 146-200 enters service (1999-05-31)