Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Laker Airways Goes Bust This Day 1982.  
User currently offlineCumulus From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 1402 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5117 times:

Surely has to be the first LCC!!!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/d...ruary/5/newsid_2535000/2535297.stm


What Goes Up Must Come Down, Hopefully In One Piece!
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKevin777 From Denmark, joined Sep 2006, 1165 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5094 times:

Quoting Cumulus (Thread starter):
Surely has to be the first LCC!!!

Oh no.... WN!

But still, first one to take up the battle over the Atlantic, and have to admire Sir Freddie Laker for his courage.

Didn't know they had 17 planes at the time - thought they were only half that size or something. They only had DC10s, right?

Well, Branson took up the legacy a year later and was more succesfull with his approach to Atlantic travel; however, he also had more luck with the politicians after it became evident that Laker was beaten under very unfair circumstances.

Btw, didn't Sir Freddie pass away quite recently?

Kevin777  Smile



"I was waiting for you at DFW, but you must have been in LUV" CPH-HAM-CPH CR9
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5082 times:

25 years ago already? I can remember it as though it was yesterday. A sad time for UK Civil Aviation and a sad time for free enterprise.

Quoting Cumulus (Thread starter):
Surely has to be the first LCC

The early Skytrain flights cost GBP 59 for LGW-JFK and USD 90 for JFK-LGW, inclusive of all taxes and supplements. Meals had to be pre-ordered and cost GBP 5 for a main-meal and pre-landing snack, and there all drinks had to be paid for. The original licence for Laker Skytrain was that seats could only be sold on the day of travel. Initially, there were queues of hundreds waiting outside the Laker Sales Office at LGW and the tiny sales office at London Victoria Station when both opened at 07:30am, but they could only accept 345 pax per day so the flights were sold out by 10:00am.

Sadly Sir Freddie died last year. Like Prince Philip said of the tycoon during his life "Sir Freddie might be at peace with his maker but in IATA he is a person non-gratia!"


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Paul Robinson




MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5073 times:

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 1):
Oh no.... WN!

But still, first one to take up the battle over the Atlantic, and have to admire Sir Freddie Laker for his courage.

Sorry but you are incorrect there. Laker Airways was founded and airborne in 1966. Air Southwest's first flight was in the following year - 1967.

However, in its initial days Laker was a charter carrier but did accept ABC bookings for trans Atlantic travel. Sir Freddie had to fight the policiticians and UK and US Governments before he was given permission for Skytrain to operate, the first service taking to the air in 1977.

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 1):
Well, Branson took up the legacy a year later and was more succesfull with his approach to Atlantic travel; however, he also had more luck with the politicians after it became evident that Laker was beaten under very unfair circumstances.

Branson was lucky, rather than successful with his approach to Atlantic travel. The original VS that operated a fleet of 4 third-hand 747s was very close to shutting down and would never had survived had it not been for both the demise of British Caledonian, when VS was granted the licence to be the second UK carrier, and being granted access to LHR, something that had previously been denied to most independent airlines.

Sir Freddie operated when the airlines were mostly state-owned and heavily regulated and IATA set fares. Compared to the policitics of the air when Sir Freddie was around, Branson's problems are like a ride on a carousel at DisneyWorld.

[Edited 2007-02-05 13:27:55]


MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3116 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5042 times:

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 1):
Didn't know they had 17 planes at the time - thought they were only half that size or something. They only had DC10s, right?

At the time they went bust, Laker Airways had 3 A300 B4's on order....those three planes were subsuequently taken by AI and flown for almost 20 years before being gifted to Afghanistan by the Govt. of India.....


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Fred Seggie - WorldAirImages



User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5022 times:

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 1):
Didn't know they had 17 planes at the time - thought they were only half that size or something. They only had DC10s, right?

Laker operated 20 aircraft at the time of its collapse
  • 5 x DC10-30
  • 6 x DC10-10
  • 3 x A300 B4
  • 2 x 707-351B, and
  • 4 x BAC 111
The news article says that they owned 17, but presumably they excluded the DC10 that Laker had sub-leased to International Caribbean Airways and the 2 x 707-351Bs that were being phased out

Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 4):
At the time they went bust, Laker Airways had 3 A300 B4's on order....

At the time they went bust Laker had 10 firm orders for the A300 B4 and options for another 20 aircraft (the plans being to have a "Skytrain" like service operating between all major European capitals). The airline took delivery of 3 aircraft that briefly flew in Laker colours. It remains a mystery how the under capitalised Laker Airways could have raised the necessary finance for the large (for an independent airline) A300 B4 order.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5010 times:

A sad day for British Aviation. Wonder if anyone will try and restart Laker Airways somewhere???

User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined exactly 13 years ago today! , 5153 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5002 times:

Quoting BCAL (Reply 3):


Sorry but you are incorrect there. Laker Airways was founded and airborne in 1966. Air Southwest's first flight was in the following year - 1967.

"Air Southwest" may have been formed in 1967, but it was renamed Southwest and began service in 1971.

http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/airborne.html

However, PSA beat them both:

http://www.jetpsa.com/index/history.html



Next Up: STL-EWR-STL for my first mileage run!
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5002 times:

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 6):
Wonder if anyone will try and restart Laker Airways somewhere

Oasis Hong Kong has already started - initially offering flights between HKG-LGW but soon starting services between HKG and the USA.

Laker's vision was to take Skytrain further and make it "Globetrain" - offering low priced services round the world. If Oasis pulls off HKG - USA, it might almost succeed where Laker failed.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineKevin777 From Denmark, joined Sep 2006, 1165 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4935 times:

Quoting BCAL (Reply 3):
Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 1):
Oh no.... WN!

But still, first one to take up the battle over the Atlantic, and have to admire Sir Freddie Laker for his courage.

Sorry but you are incorrect there. Laker Airways was founded and airborne in 1966. Air Southwest's first flight was in the following year - 1967.

Sorry, I stand corrected (and with the PSA-thing!). Didn't know he started that much before he started transatlantic

Quoting BCAL (Reply 3):
Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 1):
Well, Branson took up the legacy a year later and was more succesfull with his approach to Atlantic travel; however, he also had more luck with the politicians after it became evident that Laker was beaten under very unfair circumstances.

Branson was lucky, rather than successful with his approach to Atlantic travel. The original VS that operated a fleet of 4 third-hand 747s was very close to shutting down and would never had survived had it not been for both the demise of British Caledonian, when VS was granted the licence to be the second UK carrier, and being granted access to LHR, something that had previously been denied to most independent airlines.

That's exactly what I'm saying, too - I think it's just a choice of words; whether Branson was succesful or lucky with the authorities and the competition; either way the result was the same. Surely, VS wouldn't have survived if it hadn't been for new legislation and a tougher stand on predatory tactics on behalf of BA - brought on significantly by the demise of LAker.

Saying this, however, I still believe that Branson's business model itself had a better chance than Laker's. I don't believe in low-cost long-haul as such.

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 6):
Wonder if anyone will try and restart Laker Airways somewhere???

Freddie Laker continued a Laker Airways somewhere in the Bahamas with a couple of 727, at least untill around 2000 or so, but don't know if it's there anymore..

Quoting BCAL (Reply 8):
Oasis Hong Kong has already started - initially offering flights between HKG-LGW but soon starting services between HKG and the USA.

As I said, I personally don't believe in low-cost long-haul. And no, O8 has nothing to do with low-cost long-haul. O8 has better service onboard than many legacy competitors for instance, and just because you arenøt one of the legacy carriers and you aren't an IATA member it doesn't qualify for "low-cost" IMO. Laker was low-cost long-haul - and maybe a right product for the time - but for now the closest thing we have to low-cost long-haul is charters from Europe to Asia.

Kevin777  Smile



"I was waiting for you at DFW, but you must have been in LUV" CPH-HAM-CPH CR9
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4918 times:

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 9):
VS wouldn't have survived if it hadn't been for new legislation and a tougher stand on predatory tactics on behalf of BA - brought on significantly by the demise of LAker.

VS survived as after BA converted to a public limited company the UK government did not have any need to protect the state-owned airline like a mother hen protects her chicks. Consequently the UK independent airlines, which in previous years had been given chicken feed and denied access to LHR, were then allowed a bigger slice of the BA's exclusive network and access to LHR. The demise of Laker had little to do with VS's success.

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 9):
I still believe that Branson's business model itself had a better chance than Laker's

The original Branson module was based on Laker's low-cost concept, initially being a packbackers' airline, and Branson won much of his support on the promise that VS would offer fares cheaper than those offered by BA and the legacy carriers. Needless to say, once VS won the licences, the low-cost module was replaced by a legacy carrier with emphasis on premium travel.

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 9):
Freddie Laker continued a Laker Airways somewhere in the Bahamas with a couple of 727, at least untill around 2000 or so, but don't know if it's there anymore

Sir Freddie did form another airline in the Bahamas and called this Laker Airways (Bahamas). Initially he started in partnership and offered trans Atlantic flights between LGW-MIA, again on the DC10, with emphasis of full service and frills. This was not a success and he scaled the airline down to operating charter flights between Canada and Florida in 727 aircraft. As this business dried up, he flew gamblers to the Bahamas but in the end this airline also folded.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineKevin777 From Denmark, joined Sep 2006, 1165 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4899 times:

Quoting BCAL (Reply 10):
The demise of Laker had little to do with VS's success.

I think we are misunderstanding eachother. What I mean is, that the demise of Laker woke up the UK authorities, which in turn made it easier for Branson and VS. Had you never had a LAker, and indeed not a Laker that went bust because of unfair practices (largely anyway), VS wouldn't have come far. That's why I think Laker's demise indirectly had very positive consequences for VS.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 10):
The original Branson module was based on Laker's low-cost concept, initially being a packbackers' airline, and Branson won much of his support on the promise that VS would offer fares cheaper than those offered by BA and the legacy carriers. Needless to say, once VS won the licences, the low-cost module was replaced by a legacy carrier with emphasis on premium travel.

But, also needless to say, VS went emphasizing on premium travel because this was probably where the money was.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 10):
Sir Freddie did form another airline in the Bahamas and called this Laker Airways (Bahamas). Initially he started in partnership and offered trans Atlantic flights between LGW-MIA, again on the DC10, with emphasis of full service and frills. This was not a success and he scaled the airline down to operating charter flights between Canada and Florida in 727 aircraft. As this business dried up, he flew gamblers to the Bahamas but in the end this airline also folded.

I read about his life in "No Frills" by SImon Calder; my God he has really made something of his time on earth. IIRC he met a young stewardess at an old age, and rounded off his life in the Bahamas with her and his 727-airline.. wonderful!

Kevin777  Smile



"I was waiting for you at DFW, but you must have been in LUV" CPH-HAM-CPH CR9
User currently offlinePanAmOldDC8 From Barbados, joined Dec 2006, 960 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4899 times:

Quoting Cumulus (Thread starter):
Surely has to be the first LCC!!!

Laker /Caribbean Airways in BGI

The PM of Barbados and Sir Freddie Laker started an Airline called Caribbean Airways. Flew from Germany and also LGW back in the 70's. Flight was withdrawn when BWIA started serving London. Freddie started the LCC type airline and was giving BOAC hell. It is a shame he went under

[Edited 2007-02-05 17:16:05]


Barbados, CWC soon, can't wait
User currently offlinePanAmOldDC8 From Barbados, joined Dec 2006, 960 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4870 times:

Quoting PanAmOldDC8 (Reply 12):
The PM of Barbados and Sir Freddie Laker started an Airline called Caribbean Airways. Flew from Germany and also LGW back in the 70's. Flight was withdrawn when BWIA started serving London. Freddie started the LCC type airline and was giving BOAC hell. It is a shame he went under

Another picture of Caribbean Airways
Big version: Width: 640 Height: 435 File size: 80kb
Caribbean Airway BGI



Barbados, CWC soon, can't wait
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4863 times:

Quoting PanAmOldDC8 (Reply 12):
Flew from Germany and also LGW back in the 70's.

It routed from Gatwick via Luxembourg to/from the Bahamas. It was something to do with the fact that Luxembourg did not come under IATA jurisdiction, in the same way that other non-IATA airlines (like Icelandair or what is was then called) routed through Luxembourg.

Sir Freddie only had arguments with BOAC in the days when he was joint chairman of BUA. His greatest achievement against BOAC was when BUA took over their loss-making South American routes and despite the odds, turned them into profitable routes for BUA. His arguments were with BA, Lord King of Wartnaby, Trade Minister Peter Shore and other government ministers, no to mention his next door neighbour at LGW - British Caledonian. Margaret Thatcher was a great fan of Sir Freddie - she often told the Commons that you only had to look at Laker to see how good competition and private enterprise was. Sadly, she could not help Laker when he needed it, as her government was committed to the successful flotation of BA.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4840 times:

Quoting PanAmOldDC8 (Reply 13):
Another picture of Caribbean Airways

And here is the Laker DC10 "Canterbury Belle" in the Caribbean Airways livery. In between flights to BGI, she operated on Laker's high-denisty European charter flights and I flew in this aircraft between LGW-Heraklion in the late 1970s


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bob Garrard




MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16307 posts, RR: 56
Reply 16, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4826 times:

Despite regulatory restrictions and "bullying" by BA and other EU sked carriers, I still place much of the blame on the failure of Laker directly on the airline itself. The #1 cause of Laker's demise IMHO was over-ambitious expansion. 5 DC-10-30's were added to serve the LAX route (eliminating the DC-10-10 stop at Bangor ME) and 10 A300B4's were ordered (of which 3 were delivered). Too many new widebodies at once, right before Laker's demise, left them vulnerable. The A300 order I never understood, since it represented a massive expansion of their shorthaul capacity.

Incidently, Laker Airways was common in YYZ with summer charters to LGW/MAN/PIK et al with their DC-10-10 fleet. Summer frequencies to YYZ peaked at 4-5 weekly. Main competitor for Laker was Wardair.



Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlinePanAmOldDC8 From Barbados, joined Dec 2006, 960 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4795 times:

Quoting BCAL (Reply 14):
It routed from Gatwick via Luxembourg to/from the Bahamas. It was something to do with the fact that Luxembourg did not come under IATA jurisdiction, in the same way that other non-IATA airlines (like Icelandair or what is was then called) routed through Luxembourg

I worked in BGI at the airport and used to work the flight when it came in from Germany, nice girls on board. That ws when the Barbados Tourist Board spent a lot of time in Germany promoting BGI, it paid off, until Carribean Airways folded aftr BWIA took over



Barbados, CWC soon, can't wait
User currently offlineRichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4275 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4787 times:

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 16):
Despite regulatory restrictions and "bullying" by BA and other EU sked carriers, I still place much of the blame on the failure of Laker directly on the airline itself. The #1 cause of Laker's demise IMHO was over-ambitious expansion. 5 DC-10-30's were added to serve the LAX route (eliminating the DC-10-10 stop at Bangor ME) and 10 A300B4's were ordered (of which 3 were delivered). Too many new widebodies at once, right before Laker's demise, left them vulnerable. The A300 order I never understood, since it represented a massive expansion of their shorthaul capacity

Another contributing factor was the choice of the DC10 itself. Although Laker had never lost one, the high-profile DC-10 crashes in the 1970s and subsequent temporary grounding left a black mark on the type. And since it was the primary type Laker flew across the pond, the airline suffered tremendously.

I'm not going to debate whether or not the DC-10 was a good plane or if Laker could have survived had he flown the L-1011, for example, but I think it is fair to say that the grounding had a pronounced affect on Skytrain and added to its woes.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 2):
Sadly Sir Freddie died last year. Like Prince Philip said of the tycoon during his life "Sir Freddie might be at peace with his maker but in IATA he is a person non-gratia!"

Its kind of an odd thing to say about somebody posthumously, isn't it? I personally think that the Laker shutdown was just one of many sad, corporate failures from the UK during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Add it to the list of novel ideas that weren't executed very well.



None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlinePanAmOldDC8 From Barbados, joined Dec 2006, 960 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4744 times:

Quoting BCAL (Reply 15):
And here is the Laker DC10 "Canterbury Belle" in the Caribbean Airways livery. In between flights to BGI, she operated on Laker's high-denisty European charter flights and I flew in this aircraft between LGW-Heraklion in the late 1970s

Thanks for that Photo, didn't have it and by the way the Air Canada aircraft is the 1011 that I flew on to BGI in the 1970's



Barbados, CWC soon, can't wait
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4714 times:

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 16):



Quoting Richierich (Reply 18):

Sir Freddie was very much a gambler. He was prepared to take high risks as was evidenced by his decision to order 3 x DC10 aircraft before he had even obtained a preliminary licence to operate his Skytrain service. Pending Skytrain’s approval he put the aircraft to good use – flying the ABCs across the pond, supplementing his inclusive tour operation by using the aircraft on peak European holiday routes, and even sub-leasing an aircraft to Caribbean Airways. He had argued that if the licences were forthcoming, he had to be well-placed to take advantage of additional opportunities. He had even organised a good deal with Japanese backers and only paid leasing charges on his new DC10s when the aircraft were being used.

At the peak of Skytrain’s operations there were 3 x daily round trips to JFK from LGW, 2 x daily to LAX, 2 x daily to MIA and 3 x weekly services to TPA. In addition, there were 4 x weekly departures from MAN to JFK, 2 x weekly departures from MAN to LAX via PIK, and 4 x weekly round trips from MAN (one via PIK) to MIA.

There were several reasons for the bankruptcy, but the choice of the DC10 was not one of them. The aircraft suited Laker well, and its performance was as good as had been expected. Other airlines flew the DC10, and many still survive today.

Laker was an undercapitalised airline (GBP 10,000 according to some reports) and did not have adequate financial back-up to weather turbulent times. 90% of the share capital was owned by Sir Freddie and the balance by his first wife. The airline was incorporated in the tax-heaven of Jersey. All aircraft were leased, as was the Laker maintenance hanger at LGW. When interest rates rocketed, Laker was hurt. He did not have the funds available to “hedge” oil price increases as a result of which he was forced to pay high spot prices. He also gambled heavily on exchange rates by forward-purchasing his airline’s US dollar requirements at a fixed rate of exchange, and failed to anticipate the speed of sterling’s decline against the dollar. This caused a severe cash-flow problem at a time of acute financial crisis. The airline could achieve high loads but small returns in the summer months but the winter months resulted in heavy losses.

Laker upset the legacy carriers who did not feel that the origin concept of Skytrain – namely purchasing tickets on the day of travel - would affect their revenues. When the restrictions were lifted, the legacy carriers did see their revenues begin to suffer and fought back, using their substantial reserves, by offering a limited number of tickets at prices that compared favourably with Laker. However, Laker did not target the premium traveller where the legacy airlines made their profits until he introduced his Regency Class, aimed at the premium passenger. It was then that the legacy airlines commenced their merciless assault on Laker.

With his limited reserves, sky-high oil prices and cash flow problems, Laker was in extreme difficulties. He did succeed in obtaining finance – offered by none other than McDonnell Douglas, suppliers of the DC10 and backed by the US development bank. The legacy airlines then dug the knives in Laker – the America carriers by using their influence in the Senate to have the loans vetoed, and the European airlines by informing McDonnell Douglas that if they went ahead with their rescue deal, they would not order any more McDonnell Douglas aircraft. The lids were sealed and Laker was left with no choice other than to ask the bank to call in the receivers. Chapter 11 protection, and state aid, were both unavailable for Laker.

However, that was not the end. Laker sued the airlines for a conspiracy and the case was settled out of Court. As part of the deal, all Laker creditors were paid in full and Sir Freddie received a personal settlement, rumoured to be GBP 6 million.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16307 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4684 times:

Quoting Richierich (Reply 18):
Another contributing factor was the choice of the DC10 itself. Although Laker had never lost one, the high-profile DC-10 crashes in the 1970s and subsequent temporary grounding left a black mark on the type. And since it was the primary type Laker flew across the pond, the airline suffered tremendously.

Not sure I agree with you. Most pax do not know what type they are flying on. I doubt many Britons carred about the D10 safety record.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 20):
Sir Freddie was very much a gambler. He was prepared to take high risks as was evidenced by his decision to order 3 x DC10 aircraft before he had even obtained a preliminary licence to operate his Skytrain service.

The DC-10 purchase was actually advantageous. ANA had ordered a small number of DC-10-10's to hedge against the RR bankruptcy which delayed the L10 EIS. These airframes were not taken by ANA and became available to Laker.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 20):
There were several reasons for the bankruptcy, but the choice of the DC10 was not one of them. The aircraft suited Laker well, and its performance was as good as had been expected. Other airlines flew the DC10, and many still survive today.

I agree. The D10 was the ideal aircraft for Laker.



Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 22, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4652 times:

This sort of thread makes me feel old.
A quarter of a century ago?

An aviation original, larger than life character, innovative, Laker however seemed to me maybe a bit too trusting of Thatcher-who was positive about Freddie when she was only the Leader Of The Opposition.
Even in their quite miminal 1979 election Manifesto, Thatcher's Tories made their intention clear to privatise large state corporations, two of them aviation related-BAe and BA.
Some three years before Laker went belly up.

Since HM Government would seek the greatest possible return from a sale-albeit not always realised, the idea that BA would be broken up, before and/or during privatisation, was absurd.
BCal made a case for it in 1984, the CAA backed it, before almost totally climbing down-presumably from political pressure.
BA lobbied true, but if HM Government saw an advantage, financial mainly in a break up, all the lobbying in the world would not change this.

Was he also wrong to bring in 'Regency Class' too?
He must have known the established airlines-by no means just BA, would see this as much more of a threat.
Of course, as a businessman he'd want to maximise revenue, expand his operation, but in this case, at what cost?

An aviation visonary to be sure, however, I note that apart from the odd examples already mentioned, LCC long haul has yet to take off, at least in the intial Skytrain model.


User currently offlineRichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4275 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4625 times:

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 21):
Not sure I agree with you. Most pax do not know what type they are flying on. I doubt many Britons carred about the D10 safety record.

Well, perhaps I overstepped my bounds by saying it "contributed" to Laker's demise.
But I do believe that the DC-10 crashes and groundings had an adverse affect on the airline's image. Britons don't care about the DC-10 safety record? Really? I disagree completely. Laker lost millions during the 2-3 week grounding, although I admit to not knowing if the company was insured or otherwise compensated. The public (British and otherwise) were slow to come back after the grounding and it definitely hurt the airline. I am not suggesting that this was the sole reason for the end of Laker Airways - but it didn't help. Laker was already in financial trouble by the time of the grounding....

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 21):
I agree. The D10 was the ideal aircraft for Laker.

Maybe, maybe not. He definitely put his stock almost completely into one type (not counting the few BAC1-11s and aged 707s).



None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlineDoor5right From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 707 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4592 times:

Sir Freddie was a real character!

Before his DC 10s went into service on SkyTrain he flew them to various regional airports and invited the press and travel agents aboard for a flight. I was fortunate to enjoy a "jolly" from GLA which flew out over the Irish Sea, circled over the Isle of Man and then returned to Glasgow. We had, naturally, been plied with hospitality on the ground beforehand and then during the flight. I can clearly recall Sir Freddie walking round the plane having a word with everyone. "Get up and explore my plane," he said to us "enjoy yourselves and then be sure to tell everyone." It was a grand flight and my first experience on a wide body.

Two years later I flew off to New York. I, literally, popped down to his booking office at Victoria Station, asked if they had any seats, bought a o/w ticket for £59 (I still have the piece of cardboard) caught a train to Gatwick and three hours later was airborne. The ticket was charged to a charge card but has yet to appear on any statement. Magic.

If heaven exists I hope Sir Freddie is running an airline somewhere!



My soul is in the sky...
25 Richierich : That explains a lot!
26 1stfl94 : Other fact of interest Laker had a near perfect safety record throughout its existence, 16 years without any major incident. Now how many other airlin
27 Richierich : While this is a good record, there are several carriers that come to mind. Southwest, QANTAS, etc. And I'm sure both of these carriers have done a lo
28 1stfl94 : Southwest-Midway Crash Qantas- 747 that overran at Bangkok Laker doesn't even register on the Aviation Safety Network
29 Richierich : Crash is a little bit of a stretch - nobody on the aircraft was hurt. Sadly, the boy in the car died. After millions of flights, WN has proved it is
30 BCAL : You have to remember that many of Laker passengers were either first-time passengers, who would not have known the difference between a DC10 and a B7
31 Gooner : The first flight i ever took was MAN-YYZ in Sept 1973 ,I flew on G-AZZC the Eastern Belle My only problem with Freddie Laker was he was a disciple of
32 Post contains links GDB : Laker also had a firm background in aviation maintenance, and even in the late 1950's, built and flew a twin R/R Dart powered airliner-to compete with
33 Post contains images WesternA318 : He's probablyup inheaventhere with wings ofhis own, runnign another long gone airline by the name of Court Line...with all their pastel planes...
34 AirCop : Back in Feb 1981, took Laker from LAX to LGW on the spur of the moment for a 5 day weekend. Had no complaints, although I wouldn't want to fly the pla
35 Richierich : OK - I accept that answer. Thanks.
36 Mutu : Well you can add PAn AM and TWA to that too... But ironically the very freedom that gave LAker the right to set its own fares etc and thus set up the
37 Lincoln : Coincidentally, Joe d'Eon (sp?)'s latest Fly With Me podcast includes a flight deck interview with Freddie Laker's son My Mom's trip from LA to Europe
38 Post contains images CV580Freak : I worked for DHL at LGW when Laker agreed to handle our onboard couriers to JFK and LAX. I used to get in the queue at 03.30 each morning to buy the
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Buddy Holly Dies In Plane Crash This Day 1959 posted Sat Feb 3 2007 12:15:18 by Cumulus
Kuwait Airways Incident @ LHR This Morning posted Wed Oct 11 2006 14:05:41 by LHR777
Jet Airways Goes VEG posted Mon Feb 20 2006 19:04:31 by Nikeshashar
BCAL/BA/Laker Airways @ Prestwick In 1970s? posted Mon Nov 14 2005 03:00:04 by Jamtide
British Airways Goes No-Frills posted Sat Oct 15 2005 08:57:46 by Delta777Jet
Ghana Travel/Flyjet Charter Service Goes Bust posted Sun Mar 27 2005 13:23:07 by Soups
AvCraft Goes Bust - Bye Bye 328JET? posted Thu Mar 10 2005 17:10:40 by Backfire
Laker Airways Bahamas posted Thu Nov 4 2004 04:47:00 by Jetjeanes
Laker Airways Suspends Operations, Again posted Mon Oct 4 2004 13:51:21 by LatinAviation
On This Day In 1985 posted Thu Aug 12 2004 10:32:57 by Scbriml
Felix Airways. News About This New Yemen Airline? posted Fri Sep 5 2008 07:23:01 by OwlEye
Pure Flights (UK XL Airways Consolidator) Bust? posted Fri Aug 29 2008 06:27:19 by Leej
Laker Airways Info Needed posted Tue Aug 26 2008 08:51:06 by Khobar
TWA Jet Explodes At Las Vegas This Day 1972. posted Thu Mar 8 2007 10:13:11 by Cumulus
Concorde Maiden Flight This Day 1969! posted Fri Mar 2 2007 10:19:45 by Cumulus
Sabena 707 Crashes This Day 1961. posted Wed Feb 14 2007 13:16:31 by Cumulus
On This Day - 05FEB1982 posted Mon Feb 5 2007 05:37:48 by TymnBalewne