The BAC-One Eleven found itself in direct competition with the Douglas DC-9, and the aircraft was on the market more than a year before the Boeing 737. Advantages over the DC-9 included a cheaper unit cost. However the DC-9 offered more seating and its engines were interchangeable with those on the Boeing 727. These factors encouraged Trans Australian Airlines to purchase the DC-9 instead.
Mohawk Airlines' first One-Eleven, christened Ohio, went into service on 25 June 1965. By the end of the decade, the airline operated a fleet of 20 BAC One-Elevens. This significant investment directly led to the demise of the company, a gamble that didn't pay off due to an economic downturn and strike action. Perhaps one of the most notable incidents of a single aircraft in North America; a Philippine Airlines ' One-Eleven was involved in a ground hijacking incident in 21 May 1982. The lone hijacker, John Clearno, was overpowered by the cockpit crew following hours of negotiation, no passengers or crew were injured.
In Europe One-Elevens were common, continuing in widespread use until the mid-1980s and into the 1990s. Many One-Elevens then moved to smaller airlines, notably in the Far East and Africa. The last major operations were in Nigeria, where they were grounded after a crash in 2002. Today only a handful are still operating, mainly in Africa, though corporate versions survive in the USA and Europe. A further nail in the coffin for the One-Eleven in Europe was the Stage III noise abatement regulations which took effect from March 2003. The costs of bringing the Rolls-Royce Spey engines into compliance with this, by developing a hush kit, proved expensive for the smaller operators still using this aircraft type. Therefore very few 1-11s were fitted with hush kits, and most European operators disposed of the type from their fleet.
Total production of the One-Eleven in British and Romanian factories was 244, with two airframes left incomplete in Romania. A major initiative to re-engine corporate One-Elevens with Tay engines gathered pace in the USA in the late 1980s and early 1990s but came to naught after several successful test flights. Passive opposition from the engine maker among other factors is claimed to have sabotaged its chances of success.
British Airways retired its last One-Eleven in 1998. In 2010, the European Aviation Safety Agency accepted an Airbus request to revoke the Type Certificate for the BAC One Eleven. As a result BAC 1-11 aircraft registered in any EU Member State are no longer eligible for a Normal Certificate of Airworthiness.
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- British Caledonian.
- AER LINGUS Irish International.