One of the first airline owners to introduce the no-frills airline model to the skies, Freddie Laker has died in Miami. The British business maverick was 83-years-old.According to Reuters news agency Laker died early on Thursday of undisclosed causes.
The low-fare business model that Laker pioneered with his Skytrain air service between Britain and the U.S. has spawned a generation of no-frills airlines including Ryanair, EasyJet, Southwest Airlines and Virgin Blue.
Skytrain started flying in 1977 offering seats at almost one-third of that of the major airlines.
Laker—known affectionately as Sir Freddie—battled against the major airline cartel at the time who were forced to reduce their prices to compete with Laker Airways.
At its peak Laker Airways carried over three million passengers and had a fleet of 20 aircraft, rising to fifth place in the Atlantic air travel rankings.
However, by 1982 the company had gone bust, owing over £250 million. The demise of Laker Airways came as Britain went into recession, the safety of his aircraft were also under scrutiny.
Laker is famous for his quote to fellow airline entrepreneurs Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson and Easyjet’s Stelios Haji-Ioannou to “sue the bastards.”
He was refering to the bullying tactics of British Airways to try and force no-frills airlines out of business.