Number’s up for the beast: Iron Maiden airline goes into administration

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The plane was given a special Iron Maiden livery when it transported the band (Picture by tuexperto_com3)

THE airline which owns Iron Maiden’s famous “Ed Force One” plane has gone into administration.

Astraeus Airlines, which employs the band’s singer Bruce Dickinson as a pilot and marketing director, announced it had ceased operations.

The Sussex-based firm leased aeroplanes to other companies.

Chief executive Hugh Parry blamed “lower than expected” business during the summer for the decision.

He said staff had “battled hard” to save Astraeus, but a lack of contracts for this winter and some “extremely bad luck” with a number of technical issues also contributed to the company’s decline.

“Every effort has been made to ensure that any passengers affected already have or will be able to complete their journey,” he added.

Mr Dickinson flew the airline’s last flight from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Manchester Airport on Monday.

In the past he had used the firm’s aircraft, complete with a unique 666 flight number, to transport his band during the Somewhere Back in Time tour in spring 2008.

The band used an Astraeus plane again for The Final Frontier World Tour in 2011.

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