How would Sir Freddie Laker be rated? Although Laker UK did go bust, and some critics say it was because of Sir Freddie's over-ambitious expansion plans, there are many crowning achievements in his career, notably
- Was a prominent figure in establishing BUA as the UK's main independent airline at that time
- Redesigned the DC4 so that it could carry cars and large cargo
- Was influential in the specifications for the design of the BAC 1-11 that went on to become the UK's largest-selling passenger jet
- Took on IATA over their fare structures and protection of their members
- Fought against the likes of PanAm, TWA, BA etc
- Single handedly fought the UK/US authorities to win the right to operate a low-cost 'Skytrain' service across the Atlantic, and this was well before the likes of Herb Kelleher, David Neeleman, Stelios and Loonie O'Leary were around
- Revoluntionised the concept of time charters
Although Laker (Skytrain) did go bust, PanAm, BA
and others did settle out of court and the indications are that there was a conspiracy by them and others to drive poor old Sir Freddie out of business.
IMO Sir Freddie does deserve a place amongst the best commercial airline CEOs. After all, he paved the way for the LCCs.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."