Save a Halen (Tail) for Sir Freddie

Many of you are probably familiar with the name Sir Freddie Laker. Sir Freddie operated Laker Airways, which operated the SkyTrain service – the first low-cost trans-Atlantic service. Laker and SkyTrain practically invented the concept of Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) and inspired the likes of Southwest, RyanAir and countless others.

And Sir Freddie also inspired Randy Petersen, who named the Freddie Awards after him.

I think if Sir Freddie Laker were alive today he would be proud of Norwegian Air – the latest carrier to attempt low-cost trans-Atlantic routes. And the latest carrier to be to be targeted by the big boys (in this case, American, Delta, and United – and more specifically the Association of Flight Attendants and Air Line Pilots Association unions) who would like to stop the Norwegian threat before it gets off the ground.

Much like it was for Sir Freddie in the 70s, Norwegian Air – the little guy fighting for cheaper flights – appears to be winning the hearts and minds of travelers.

This is just the airline lobby preventing cheap travel to us. ~bharatiya

If this dispute was about safety, then show us the safety issues!! Are they flying unairworthy aircraft? Are they flying with unqualified crews that do not meet ICAO and country standards? If so, show us the proof dear ALPA!! ~NEDeals

Of course, not everyone agrees that the Norwegian model is great for us all.

They are trying to circumvent international and domestic laws on air travel. Base the airline out of a country not involved in the business for their own gain, and then further complex things with a huge multi national scheme for employment. They want to turn the global airlines into the cruise industry. This has no business in air travel and will cause massive instability. ~rickt86

Unfortunately the thread has begun to devolve into a back-and-forth about the causes of the demise of Concorde, but eddlerd, the OP, posts a great link to an article in The Daily Signal that provides a bit more background on the whole brouhaha.

How this will play out is anyone’s guess. But if history is destined to repeat itself you might be able to make a fairly well educated guess by picking up a copy of The Rise and Fall of Freddie Laker – a little-known but terrifically entertaining account of Laker Airways’ battle against the giant airlines of their time – British Airways, TWA, Pan Am and others.

Read the entire thread: 3 Major U.S. Airlines Fight to Cancel Cheaper International Travel

Image by Aero Icarus. CC BY-SA 2.0.




  1. I went to school with Freddie Jr. here in Palm Beach County. I still remember how humble the family was while we were growing up. I chuckle at the thought of him getting picked up after soccer practice in a Rolls while covered in dirt and Florida humidity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.