Capital Airlines (UK)

Capital Airlines (UK)

airline=Capital Airlines
destinations= UK domestic
Based=Leeds Bradford Airport
headquarters=UK domestic market
website= N/A

Capital Airlines was an airline based in the United Kingdom and self-proclaimed "Yorkshire International Airlines". It operated a fleet of BAe 146's and Shorts 360's between 1987-1992.


Capital Airlines, the self styled "Yorkshire International Airline", existed between 1987 and 1992. It was the first airline to be based at Leeds Bradford Airport.

The airline initially operated Vickers Viscount which was leased from British Air Ferries and carried a hybrid livery. In 1988 Shorts 360 aircraft were purchased and became the back-bone of the fleet. The company flew a ‘figure of 8 route’ Leeds / Edinburgh / Glasgow / Leeds/ Cardiff / Bristol / Leeds. In 1989 two BAe 146 were acquired to run Luton to Belfast and Leeds to Dublin services. Later, the airline would add Leeds to Belfast City, Dublin & London Gatwick, and Luton to Belfast City. In 1990 it operated services from Leeds to various scheduled destinations in Europe.

The company was one of the first airlines in Great Britain to introduce a low-cost fare structure or ‘no-frills’ service.

Capital Airlines endeavoured to obtain the first arrival and departure slots at airports in order to avoid queues at passport/customs control. This was particularly successful at Luton and Leeds.

In some respects Capital Airlines was slightly ahead of its time. Rapid growth was gained in the sector but Leeds held it back with its night time landing constraints and poor weather. Although a popular venture, the service was not successful enough and the company folded with the management team moving to Daytona Beach to open a flying school.


The body had a white top-half and a red underside. Where the colours met, they merged with pin-stripe horizontal stripes increasing/decreasing in thickness. The tail was white with large black ‘Capital’ lettering running down the leading edge. Yellow pin-striped horizontal stripes ran down the length of the rudder. Where the yellow stripes of the tail met the red of the body they merged in orange. (See image).

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