Flight arrived at the airport to take businessmen, airport chiefs and pressmen on a champagne flight to show off its capabilities
Flying 1970s-style … meet the stewardesses of a Freddie Laker DC-10 airliner that stopped off at Newcastle Airport on December 5 1972 - 45 years ago today.
The McDonnell Douglas aircraft, named ‘Eastern Belle’, arrived at the airport to take businessmen, travel agents, airport chiefs and pressmen on a champagne flight to show off its capabilities.
The plane was able to carry up to 380 passengers, one the largest capacities of the time.
Founded In 1966, Laker Airways was an independent British, no-frills, long-haul airline.
Sir Freddie Laker, “the pioneer of low-cost travel”, died in February 2006, aged 83.
Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson led tributes to the entrepreneur, saying he had enabled thousands of people to fly “who had never had the chance before him”.
Sir Freddie set up the Laker Skytrain in 1977, charging £118 for a return ticket from London to New York.
Passengers would queue for 24 hours to board the walk-on economy service. But competitors forced Skytrain out of business in 1982. A court later ruled that other airlines had used illegal price pressure on Sir Freddie’s company.
Embraced as an underdog, ordinary members of the public donated more than £1m in an unsuccessful attempt to keep his business afloat.