Laugh, giggle, smile and sometimes laugh out loud are fundamental for our very existence to be able to survive. It gives us strength to continue with dignity when we recall the history behind our achievements.
A great deal is spoken about low cost companies as if they are the only marvel in aviation.
My working life began in a charter company. Charter flights were to begin at a later date. For those jokers amongst us, I was not born during the Second World War!
There were aircraft such as the DC3, DC6 and DC7 and pilots out of work. There was nobody to immolate.
So, using these aircraft, something as ancient as aviation itself began: charter flights. In Spain, this type of flight commenced in 1959 at 15 pesetas for 15 minutes …. and today we show off by having purchased a flight for 9 euros!
The charter airlines competed with several great state-owned carriers, so life was not easy. We suffered the blessed inquisition; well known in my homeland.
I recall that we were so “low cost” that when we wrote a letter we had to beg Iberia for a sheet of carbon paper. In those days computers did not exist and communications were carried out by telex. We had no cars, nothing at all but what we did possess was passion. We were simply “low cost”.
I remember with reasonable clarity my first day at work in an airline. Although I was a flight student it was impossible to find a job flying so one had to do anything that was available. The Captain of one of the DC6 asked me to return to the office to get the stone to sharpen the propellers. Those that were more gullible would be sent to ask an Iberian Captain for the loan of the stone. Needless to say the poor chap was thrown out of the Iberia plane in a somewhat troubled state.
If anything has brought far away places within easy reach it has to be the charter companies for making unusual destinations like Majorca or any European capital, even New York, available at a reasonable price.
We should therefore ask these presumptuous executives of low cost airlines to at least have the dignity to study the overall history of aviation.
Whenever I write an article in the press, I always reiterate the fact that their big-headedness just makes me laugh.
There is no doubt that the low cost companies deserve respect – they certainly have mine – but fortunately they were not the discoverers of aviation, nor even the pioneers.