Sunday, February 12, 2006
Freddies last flight
One of my countries great underdogs departed this world a few days ago. That bastion of cheap air fares Freddie Laker, left his last departure lounge last week.
The man was a pioneer for affordable flights that were for the first time, within reach of the man in the street. He stuck both fingers up to the big guys of PanAm, British Airways and the like, showing the whole world that flying could be done on the cheap.
Alas, it wasn't long before the main airlines put the squeeze on LakerAir and put him out of business. He briefly surfaced a few years later, but after a while he jacked it in to set up a small airline that concentrated on island hopping in the Caribbean.
He encouraged the likes of Richard Branson to take on the big cartels in the aviation industry. The difference here, is that Virgin Airlines won.
From a humble factory floor sweeper who started life in the company I now work for, to one of lifes little'uns who dared to piss off the big'uns, R.I.P. Freddie. You showed 'em.