The Truth Behind the Low-Cost
Revolution in The Skies
about low-cost airlines was a departure from
travel guides. But
the no-frills carriers fascinated me, ever since
Freddie Laker set up Skytrain. I used to clean
out his planes at Gatwick, and never imagined that
I would ever be able to fly the Atlantic. But thanks
to his innovative scheme to fly between Gatwick
and New York JFK for £59 each way, I found
Fast-forward to 1995, when a gregarious Greek Cypriot,
Stelios Haji-Ioannou, decided to launch easyJet.
He soon showed that travellers had been paying
far too much for far too long. Across in Dublin,
Michael O'Leary was busily transforming Ryanair
from a loss-making traditional airline into the
lowest-cost carrier in Europe. When British Airways
decided to muscle in on the game, the travel industry
was set for a showdown.
During the writing of No Frills, I was privileged
to see the industry from the inside, and to get access to all the top players - including Sir Freddie,
at his villa in the Bahamas.
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