You should have known Freddie, he was one of the good guys. He was an archetypal capitalist hero; innovative, adventurous and resilient. More than anyone else he redefined cheap holiday airfares for ordinary people and struck the first blow at over-priced scheduled airfares, with the launch of Skytrain. Now Freddie unfortunately is no longer with us and the likes of Richard Branson have taken over his mantle of independent budget airlines, but we are going to look at his Life Chart, to see the almost perfect sequence of related Revolution and Broken Pathways Years that occurred. Remember it is the linked themes of all these years that makes Life Cycles evidence so powerful. I mean it's no good if I have this template and I can find no reasonable supporting data. I've actually seen some appalling data for some other theories; where either everything is so general nothing gets proven, or worse still it is self-contradictory. No, you've got one determined and disciplined researcher here and good luck if you think I'll disappear off the radar.
When Freddie was in his first adult age 24 'Year of Revolution' (August, 1946 to August, 1947) he began working for a new aviation group-London Aero and Motor Services in Dec, 1946 at Sansted. They had six Halifax bombers converted for civilian use and a young Freddie, working as a Flight Engineer, saw the potential in all this. Soon after, in Oct. 1947, he set up his first company, Aviation Traders, with a loan of some 38,000 pounds from a rich friend. It wasn't long before the Soviet Blockade of West Berlin provided almost a year's worth of work for all his aircraft and he made his first fortune. This was his first new age/direction. Next we come to his important mid-life age 36 'Year of Revolution'. What was his new age then and was it related to the same theme of entrepreneurship and aviation? He was getting frustrated by his inability to gain entry to mainstream aviation, however in this year (August, 1958 to August, 1959) he sold his three companies to the Airwick Group for 800,000 pounds (around 20 million today). This group then merged with Hunting-Clan in the next year and he became Managing Director of the new entity-British United Airways. This consolidated his finances and gave him a more important reputation. He had 'burst upon the scene' as a major industry player, as so many people do in one way or another in this important mid-life 'Year of Revolution'. It was clearly his second adult new age/direction. His company became half the size of British European Airways.
Now let's progress another twelve years and set up a further hypothesis. What happened in Freddie's 48th 'Year of Revolution' (Aug. 1970 to Aug.1971) to show evidence of new beginnings? On 15th June, 1971 Laker Airlines submitted an application to launch the first daily low-budget transatlantic service between London and New York. This was to prove a difficult task and with various delays took a full seven years before it got up and running. It was definitely the ushering in of his next new age/direction, even though it did not happen overnight. His eventual main reputation with Skytrain was linked to this and became the template for others like Richard Branson.
Let's try his age 60 'Year of Revolution' (Aug. 1982 to Aug. 1983) shall we. What happens if we set up the same hypothesis? Remember each time it is increasingly more difficult to find supporting evidence. What would be the odds of these events happening by chance alone? Just before his 60th birthday Laker Airlines went spectacularly bust with debts of 264 million pounds. The last flight was on 5th Feb, 1982. Undaunted, Freddie immediately hit back with public support and a relief fund, which managed to raise over 1 million pounds and was backed by the band- The Police. It became obvious however, during his 'Year of Revolution', that ten major airlines (including B.A. Pan Am and Lufthansa) had plotted his downfall. They then threatened McDonnell Douglas that they would buy elsewhere it if re-scheduled Laker's debt. This led on to Freddie suing them and years of legal wrangling and negotiations, with an eventual out of court settlement ensuing. In this year Laker retreated to live most of the rest of his life in the Bahamas. It was definitely the beginning of his new age/direction at this time. He had now effectively 'left the stage he had been upon'.
Oh, and by the way, just for good measure I can show an obvious challenge at each and every 'Year of Broken Pathways'. That is at ages 31, 43, 55, and most probably 19 and 67 as well. At 31, he began his second airline venture Channel Air Bridge, flying cars and their owners from Southend to Calais. At 43, he resigned from British United to form his own airline -Laker Airways- initially flying charter flights with a pair of turbo-prop planes. At 55, his long running application to get Skytrain working was settled and the first London-New York flight happened 26th Sept. 1977. Can't you see the obvious similarity in all these 'Years of Broken Pathways'? He begins the challenge of initial flights or new and spin-off business ventures. In each and every 'Year of Revolution' he begins a new business direction, that is not always of his own making. If that friend hadn't lent him money in 1947 or if he hadn't been offered a position following the merger in 1959, or submitted a transatlantic application in 1971, or been driven out of the UK by the 'big boys' in 1983, he wouldn't have had a new age/direction.
Think about the power of 'Life Cycles' analysis. Then think about this. No-one has done anything remotely like this before. I'm one voice. Should you listen to me? There's plenty of 'great pretenders' out there. Just remember that. Until next month:- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune".