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From Laker to Branson

Britain's Airline Entrepreneurs

From Laker to Branson

Britain has more successful airlines than any country in Europe. In fact, if judged proportionately against the size of her population, more than any other country in the world. The explanation lies partly in her history and partly in her people. As an island nation which once ruled a vast empire and had to import a third of its food, transport was always vital. In 1939, a third of the world's merchant ships were British. After the Second World War, British aircraft manufacturers competed with the United States to supply the world with airliners. At the same time, ex-military aircraft, including the ubiquitous DC3, could be bought cheaply and there was no shortage of ex-military pilots, navigators and engineers to operate them. But these facts go only part of the way to explaining the remarkable rise of British independent airlines in the 1950s and 1960s. This book tells their story and reminds us how a small group of bold, pioneering people shaped an industry that remains a key part of our economy to this day.


Ron Beaumont, Caversham

"...Excellent set of photographs, don’t know how you manage to get some of them as I haven’t seen them before. So, another excellent enterprise, roll on the next one."


John Greaves, Bournemouth

"Book ordered 11:15 Tuesday. Arrived 12:15 Wednesday! Looks excellent. Thanks."


Peter Wood, Basingstoke

"A first class publication, it is most informative and interesting."


Russell Benton, Paisley

"Thoroughly enjoyed it. Some great pictures in it too. If you are interested in British civil aviation from the Berlin Airlift to modern day, this book tells the story through some of the individuals. Very informative."


Jeff Wilkinson, London

"A wonderful evocation of Britain’s independent airlines from WWII until the present. Exceptionally well-illustrated too. I thoroughly recommend it."

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