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British United (BUA) was the largest privately owned airline in the 1960s in the UK. It began as a merger between Airwork Services and Hunting-Clan Air Transport. Its main shareholder was British & Commonwealth Shipping (B&C) and it began as a charter airline flying 90 assorted fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters.
The airline began to eye scheduled service with an order for 10 BAC 1-11s in 1961 (photo), which launched (BUA)ís program.
In January 1962, it merged with British Aviation Services, the holding company of rivals Britavia and Silver City Airways. It took over Jersey Airlines in May of the same year, giving it a fleet of over 100 aircraft and 6,000 employees.
In April, the airline opened a city-center check-in facility at Londonís Victoria Station. This allowed (BUA) to go around regulatory restrictions the following May on flying London - Paris because it operated a combined air-rail service linking the two major cities.
In October 1964 the airline became the first UK airline to begin jet operations with a Vickers VC-10 and in April the next year the BAC 1-11s began to enter service.
British United (BUA) took over the South American services of British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) at the end of 1964 and it began long-haul service to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay.
In 1968, (BUA) underwent a huge reorganization and by 1969 the airline had become the UKís only profitable mainline domestic carrier.
It was a busy decade. In November 1970, (B&C) sold (BUA) to Scottish charter carrier, Caledonian Airways (CAW) for £12 million, and British Caledonian was born. It had 20 all-jet airplanes, employed 3,000 people and was based at Londonís Gatwick Airport.