The Story Behind the Book

Back in the early 1990s, I was privileged to research, write and compile three UK airline histories: During that time I met, interviewed and more importantly gained the trust of many of the major key players in the industry. People like Fred Newman, the chairman of Dan-Air for thirty-seven of the airline’s forty-year history, William ‘Bill’ Armstrong, the founder and chairman of Autair – and so many other airlines he could not remember them all! Ed Posey, the managing director of Court Line Aviation, who took the eventual collapse very personally, Errol Cossey, one of the three founders of Air Europe, who sold out at just the right time before moving on to found Air 2000, selling that and founding Flying Colours, selling that and…  David James, then the darling ‘Company Doctor’ of the City of London who was supposed to look after the banks interests, but fell in love with the smell of the kerosene and roar of the jets. They all saw dealing with me as being fraught with commercial danger – after all, most were still actively involved in the holiday business in one shape or form – but this understandable caution was balanced by their egos that wanted to be of assistance to ensure their story was told! Even so, they all tended to play things very close to their chests.

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