We recently investigated what became of the easyJet fleet of 737s, but that wasn’t the only Boeing aircraft flown by the British LCC. At one time, easyJet had a small flotilla of Boeing 757s too, four in fact. Let’s take a look at what happened to them.
easyJet and the Boeing 757
easyJet did not have a fleet strategy to include the 757. Indeed, it would not have had a 757 flying for it at all were it not for a brief spell of crew shortages. According to conversations on the Aviation Forum, easyJet wet leased all four of its 757s to operate flights over the busy summer season that year.
As such, three Boeing 757s joined easyJet in June 2010, with a further one added to the stables in July. By September, all had returned to their relevant lessors, never to be seen on an easyJet route again.
While most wet leased aircraft don’t get a livery overhaul as part of the deal, easyJet clearly thought it would be worth the extra investment to maintain its brand image. We’ve turned up records of all four of the 757s being painted in full easyJet livery for the summer 2010 period which, although costly, goes to show just how important brand is to the airline.
This Boeing 757 had already had a long and interesting career before arriving at easyJet. Originally built for Air 2000 (who later became First Choice Airways, then Thomson Airways), it was delivered in March 1989 from Renton. Although frequently leased by Air 2000 to other carriers, it remained their property until it was taken on by Astraeus in March 2006.
Interestingly, this particular plane was used by Astraeus to transport rock legends Iron Maiden on their world tour in 2008. As well as receiving an eye-catching livery and the moniker ‘Ed Force One’, the 757 was flown by lead singer Bruce Dickinson himself! Dickinson was a qualified commercial pilot, and went on to work for Astraeus full time, until the airline collapsed in 2011.
After the brief summer working in full easyJet livery, the aircraft went back to Astraeus who leased it briefly to Saudi Arabian Airlines in 2010. After Astraeus went bust, the aircraft was converted to a cargo carrier and has been working ever since for FedEx as N938FD.
This 757 began life for Spanish carrier Iberia in July 2000. Six years later, it joined the fleet of Titan Airways, a British charter airline specializing in ACMI and wet lease services. As well as leasing aircraft out, Titan operates a number of passenger and cargo charter services for tour operators, private companies and governments.
After leasing the aircraft to easyJet in 2010, G-ZAPX rejoined the Titan fleet and is still in operation with them today. Looking at recent operations on Flight Radar 24, it seems the aircraft is being well used in the leisure market, connecting London with destinations such as Ibiza, Thessaloniki, Faro and Mallorca. Going on the flight numbers, it appears to be operating mainly on behalf of TUI, perhaps picking up some capacity lost by the current 737 MAX grounding.
This 757-200 was first put into service with Russia’s Baikal Airlines. Entering service in 1994, it was passed on to Avianca Brasil in 1996, where it stayed until joining Air Finland’s fleet in September 2003. Here it stayed for almost a decade, enjoying its brief lease to easyJet, including the repaint, in 2010.
When the aircraft left Air Finland at their point of collapse in 2012, it was stored at Victorville for a short while before heading out to Singapore Seletar (XSP) to be converted to a freighter. The conversion was carried out in April 2013, and since this time it has been put to good use by FedEx, working under registration N967FD.
Transavia was he very first customer of this 1996 Boeing 757-200. For the first decade of its life, it was shared around between Transavia, Air Transat and Air Finland. Air Finland became the overall leaseholder in 2003, ironically leasing OH-AFI back to Transavia for a few months in 2007.
The lease of the 757 in 2010 came with the added advantage of winglets, which Air Finland had retrofitted in 2008. After returning to Air Finland at the end of the summer, the jet was used for another couple of years before leading the fleet just before Air Finland filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
From October 2012 to August 2014, the aircraft went to work for Safi Airways, Afghanistan’s first airline to become compliant with EASA, IOSA and ICAO requirements. It was one of two 757s in the airline’s fleet, both of which were often used to transport President Hamid Karzai on official business.
Safi Airways Boeing 757-200 pic.twitter.com/jUpmkkMolL
— F.A. Stanley (@FAStanley96) November 10, 2017
Leaving the Safi fleet in 2014, this 757 had perhaps the luckiest of all breaks. Re-registered as G-TCSX, the aircraft was refitted in an all business class layout and received a glorious all-black livery. The operator? TAG Aviation (UK), or to give it its full title, Techniques d’Avant Garde.
This specialist charter operator runs the 757 exclusively for TCS World Travel on some very high-end trips, including the Four Seasons Private Jet Experience. It has just 52 seats on board, all flatbed and full leather, with handwoven wool carpets for the ultimate in luxury.
It’s a fine end for a wonderful plane.