British Eagle, Britain’s second biggest independent airline, was bankrupted by the policies of all the governments, Conservative and Labour, who ruled Britain between 1948 and 1968. Each administration, to a greater or lesser degree, hamstrung Eagle and other independent airlines with policies that favoured the bloated, inefficient, state-owned carriers. This situation would not change until the European Union introduced “Open Skies” policies in the 1980s. Aviation journalist and author, Rob Coppinger, has painstakingly researched the trials and tribulations of this remarkable airline. British Eagle was built from nothing by Harold Bamberg, a German-Jewish refugee who escaped the Nazis in 1938, joined the RAF aged 17, and flew scores of hazardous bombing missions before forming his own company with just £100 in capital.
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