• News
  • Sir Freddie Laker Remembered

Sir Freddie Laker Remembered

Sir Freddie Laker, low-fares pioneer died yesterday in Miami. An obituary appeared earlier today on this web site.

Below are is a timeline of his life, and below that are some vintage photos of Laker Airways and Skytrain from the Flight Collection image archive.

Airline Business US editor Dave Field shares his thoughts on the man on his blog and Flight International would welcome others who knew Sir Freddie to contribute their anecodtes for publication later in the month.

1922 Frederick Alfred Laker is born in Kent on 6 August
1938 Freddie Laker starts his career working for Short Brothers in Rochester
1940 After bombing of Shorts factory, he joins General Aircraft
1941 He becomes member of the Air Transport Auxiliary, ferrying aircraft during World War II
1946  Freddie becomes one of the first employees of the newly-established British European Airways Corporation (BEA), but stays only three months
1947 He establishes Aviation Traders at Rochford Aerodrome near Southend, after acquiring 12 ex-BOAC converted Halifax bombers, known as Haltons in civil guise
1948 Supplies six Haltons for the Berlin Airlift, which are operated by Bond Air Services. The Haltons fly for 54 weeks, carrying out some 4,700 flights. As a result, Freddie becomes wealthy 
1953 Freddie forms Air Charter, which operates the Channel Air Bridge, carrying passengers, freight and livestock
1960 He becomes managing director of British United Airways (BUA), founded by the merger of Airwork and Hunting-Clan Air Transport
1966  Freddie launches Laker Airways, starting operations on inclusive-tour flights with two ex-BOAC Bristol Britannias
1971 Laker Airways applies to the Air Transport Licensing Board (ATLB) for permission to launch a no-frills service between London and New York at a lowest single fare of £32.50, one-third of the fare charged by other airlines
1972 Laker Airways takes delivery of its first McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10
1977 US President Jimmy Carter gives Laker the go-ahead for a one-year trial of his low-fare Skytrain service, which is inaugurated on 26 September when the DC-10-10 ‘Eastern Belle’ leaves London Gatwick for New York
1978 Freddie Laker is knighted by the Queen for his contribution to commercial aviation and the British economy
1979 Sir Freddie signs contract for 10 Airbus A300B4-200s
1980 Laker Airways takes delivery of its first Airbus
1981  Laker Airways gains a foothold in Europe with the inauguration of a no-frills service between Manchester and Zurich. A300 enters service on the routes to Palma de Mallorca and Monastir
1982  Laker Airways collapses owing more than £250 million ($470 million in 1982 dollars) to banks and other creditors, blaming its demise on the bullying tactics of a number of airlines, including British Airways
1985  Sir Freddie accepts a private settlement to end    
his court case against the airlines
1992  After turning his back on Britain, Sir Freddie establishes Laker
Airways (Bahamas), which flies Boeing 727s between Nassau and Florida
1998 Sir Freddie is made a Legend at the Smithonian Institution in Washington
2005 The new Laker Airways ceases operations
2006 Sir Freddie dies at Miami on 9 February, aged 83


Laker tail W445 small

 Airbus A300 B4 Laker W445

  Last Laker flight Press Assoc W445












Related Content