Love Air began life in the late 1990s as a site hosting a few aviation photographs belonging to the aviation blogger Ben Lovegrove. Within a year or two it had put to another use, as described below.
Love Air – The Dating Site
Then, in June 2004, it became an online dating site for the aviation and aerospace community and was the first in a series that include Love Sail and Love Horse, for the sailing & marine world and the equestrian world respectively. The idea was to create a dating site that would attract members from both commercial as well as private aviation; pilots, cabin crew, private pilots, engineers, airline staff, airport workers etc.
Sadly, the proved to be too small a niche and didn’t generate the income required to reinvest to make the site grow. The sailing and the equestrian site were more succesful and both still exist to this day. Love Sail is an excellent site and has grown considerably since the 2000s.
There were several problems that prevented Love Air from really taking off (pun intended). For a start, there was the size of the niche. Recreational flying in the UK is too small a pool. It was and remains largely male dominated, although that is slowly changing.
The commercial aviation industry is certainly big enough for dedicated dating sites it’s not an easy market in which to get noticed and at the time the pilots and cabin crew had other means to get to know each other. In the mid 2000s people were still using forums that catered for their particular industry. Dating sites were appearing but it took a while for some to step out of a familar format and into a new world of direct messaging, dating profiles, and video chats.
The site began as a stand alone dating site at first. After a few years, in an effort to boost the membership, the site was moved to a white label dating partnership. This didn’t work because the database of members could only be filtered on the basis of uniforms, not on aviation specifically. So eventually the site’s decline continued due to lack of investment and the factors described above.
Love Air – The Airline
As a name, Love Air existed prior to these appearances in cyberspace. At one time it was the name of a small air charter company that operated out of Lydd Airport, flying a small twin-engined aircraft from there to Le Touquet, a journey that took about 15-20 minutes. Flights were also available from Biggin Hill. You can see a remnant of this service on a web page that still exists on the Biggin Hill website.
The Love Air Jetstream 31-3101 G-LOVA was spotted at Birmingham, Stansted, and Liege airports in 1999. The aircraft was de-registed 01/11/1999. They also operated another, J31 G-CCPW.
Love Air was mentioned in an article on AviationWeek.com, published on 5th June 1998 when it was announced that they had purchased a Jetstream 3 and would be expanding their operation to flights from Biggin Hill.
There’s another article about the MD, Nigel Harris, published on 1st July 1993 on managementtoday.co.uk. In this we learn that Love Air’s holding company was the London Flight Centre (LFC), along with two other small airlines, Montserrat Airways and Air St Kitts and Nevis.
Love Air pops up again in the company registers in the 2000s. Love Air Limited was incorporated in 2002 and dissolved in 2012.
Lydd Airport is a small civil airport located 1 NM east of the town of Lydd and 12 NM south of Ashford in Kent, England. It’s also known as London Ashford Airport but it’s closer to France than it is to London, which is over 60 miles away.
Lydd was the first airfield to be built after the Second World War. Unlike so many other airports and airfields, there is no wartime heritage or history as it didn’t exist until 1954 when it was for Silver City Airways who needed a hard runway in order to operate in all weathers as grass runways at their operating base at nearby Lympne Airport were waterlogged in wet weather.
The airfield was expanded in 2014. A new terminal building was addedd and the runway extented by almost 300m (980ft). The only scheduled flights at that time were operated by LyddAir but these ceased in 2018 and they have since reverted to charter flights only.
The airfield is situated on the Romney Marsh and has a single 1,500m tarmac runway. The airport is the home of Lydd Aero Club who offer trial lessons and PPL training. Despite its relatively small size, Lydd Airfield plays an important role in supporting the local economy and providing vital links to the rest of the UK and Europe.
It’s also the home of LyddAir, a subsidiary of Atlantic Bridge Aviation Limited (ABA). They have been flying scheduled and chartered flights to the popular resort of Le Touquet in France since 1997 and provide on demand charter flights into Europe and around the UK.
If you have any questions, please contact me.