Friday, February 10, 2006

If you can afford to fly, thank Freddie Laker

Sir Freddie Laker, former boss of Laker Airlines/Skytrain, has died at the age of 83. His death is notable as he was one of the first pioneers of airline deregulation and no-frills flying, and suffered an early form of the British Airways dirty tricks campaign they later subjected Virgin Atlantic to.

Prior to his involvement, transatlantic flight was the preserve of the rich but Laker offered flights at one third of the flag-carriers fares. The oil crash of the late 1970s killed off Skytrain but sowed the seed for the later Southwest and Ryanair wars against US and European legacy carriers and their high fares.
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