101119 - LAKER: The Glory Years of Sir Freddie Laker - The Lies, The Conspiracies, Now Finally - The True Story
By Ania Grzesik & Gregory Dix (former senior executive of Laker Airways)
Sir Freddie Laker was one of Britain’s most renowned entrepreneurs. After leaving school at age 16, his early years include the Berlin Airlift, Aviation Traders, the ‘Accountant’ aircraft (designed to replace the venerable DC-3), Air Charter & Channel Air Bridge, the innovative Carvair and his tumultuous years at BUA. Freddie was a millionaire before he’d turned 25.
After starting Laker Airways following the tragic death of his 17 year-old son Kevin, Freddie built the airline into a powerhouse, specialising in the European and North American markets. He then took on governments on both sides of the Atlantic for the licences to fly his revolutionary ‘Skytrain’ service, for which is he is most known. Laker’s Skytrain created hysteria akin to a grass roots movement. It gave the opportunity of affordable air travel between the UK and the USA to millions who could never before have the experience. The impact of Skytrain was pivotal in President Jimmy Carter‘s deregulation of the U.S. airline industry. Numerous airlines followed Laker’s example to the point that now, his original low-cost / no-frills model has become the industry standard for many of the world’s air carriers.
Fueled by commercial success followed by a well-deserved knighthood, Sir Freddie embarked on a massive expansion programme. He purchased many more aircraft, took on immense financial commitments and sought hundreds of routes across the globe. Laker Airways was one of the top six transatlantic airlines by 1982 and Sir Freddie had made enemies amongst his competitors, who conspired against him. Despite monumental efforts to assist Laker Airways with a refinancing plan, a perfect storm of events brought Sir Freddie’s airline down on the 5th of February, 1982. Now, for the first time, the complete story of Sir Freddie and his brilliant, ambitious business ventures is being told.
The authors were keen for the book to contain inspirational ‘life lessons’ for the benefit of others, especially those in the business world. Entrepreneurs, managers, business owners, and graduate students all stand to gain insights from Sir Freddie's many decades of business experience. LAKER is much more than a 'business biography' and those who prefer fiction may enjoy reading about Freddie's life, as it often resembles a novel.
Sir Freddie Laker was one of Britain's folk heroes in the seventies. This is the story of his life up to February 1982 and his unequalled contribution to civil aviation with Laker Airways.
several pages of colour & b/w photos throughout