Sir Freddie Laker, Namesake of the Freddie Awards, Dies at 83

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The aviation industry mourns the loss of Sir Freddie Laker. Laker was a pioneer who introduced the concept of low-cost transatlantic airfares in the 1970s, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the spring of 1978 in recognition for his contribution to commercial aviation and the British economy.

The aviation industry mourns the loss of Sir Freddie Laker. Laker was a pioneer who introduced the concept of low-cost transatlantic airfares in the 1970s, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the spring of 1978 in recognition for his contribution to commercial aviation and the British economy.

Laker founded Britain's first all-jet air carrier, Laker Airways Limited in 1966, which eventually became the largest individually and privately owned airline in the world. He also founded the "SKYTRAIN" service, which revolutionized the airline industry by offering the first no-reservation, low-cost air service.

Though Sir Freddie Laker is no longer with us, his name and his spirit continues to inspire those in the travel industry in the form of the Freddie Awards.

The Freddie Awards were created in 1988 by InsideFlyer magazine Publisher and Editor, Randy Petersen, to recognize the world's most outstanding frequent travel programs. Petersen named the awards for Sir Freddie Laker in honor of Laker's pioneering marketing efforts and competitive spirit. Today, Freddie Award-winning frequent travel programs are the gold standard against which all others are judged. much like Sir Freddie himself.

Laker himself said about the awards, "Seeing my name on the Freddie Awards gives me a great thrill every year. This whole business excites me so much, I can't believe Randy thought to name them after me."

Sir Freddie personally attended five of the past six Freddie Award ceremonies with his wife, Lady Jacqueline. This year's Freddie Award ceremony, which will be held in Los Angeles on April 27, will feature a special tribute to Sir Freddie.

In 1998, Sir Freddie was made a Legend at the Smithsonian Museum, Washington, D.C., and in 2001 he was inducted into The Travel Industry Hall of Fame in London. And, at the 2003 Paris Air Show, he was selected as one of the most important, influential and intriguing personalities in the history of flight.

In October 2003, Sir Freddie was a guest at a reception at Buckingham Palace held by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to mark the contribution of Pioneers to the life of the Nation.

He will be missed and forever remembered.

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Karen Heldt