Freddie Laker, chairman of Britain's Laker Airways, yesterday announced that his airline will begin low-fare Skytrain service between New York and London on Sept. 26.
At a new conference held in London exactly six years to the day after he began his struggle to win approval for Skytran, Laker - who frequently has blasted the British for protecting their government-owned "high-fare" airlines from competitors like his airlines - fired some salvos at the United States government as well.
Although the British have imposed stringent capacity, airport and ticketing procedures on Laker's Skytrain, he denounced U.S.-imposed conditions as "the most disgraceful ever produced by any country as a form of reciprocity."
The U.S. is limiting the service to a one-year trial period, requiring that Laker satisfy U.S. authorities that he can control the crowds of people who may line up for tickets, and insisting that Britain permit U.S. carriers to launch similar low-fn.
The 55-year-old entrepreneur also took on the U.S. carriers who opposed his application but who now will get the chance to compete with him, courtesy of the U.S. "One is inclined to ask about the credibility of people and companies who for the last six years have said it was uneconomic and would destroy air travel as we know it today," he said.
"Why have these people not produced an economic response for the benefit of mankind until now?"