Laker to fight BA in US court

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The Independent Online
Sir Freddie Laker, the low-fare aviation pioneer, is once again taking on British Airways through the courts, it was announced yesterday.

Sir Freddie, who now runs Laker Airways services between Florida and the UK is suing BA in a US court over the allocation of take-off and landing slots at Gatwick airport.

In the 1980s, Sir Freddie won a pounds 6m settlement from BA and other airlines after his claims that major carriers caused the collapse of his transatlantic Skytrain service in 1982. His victory ensured that Sir Freddie would be remembered as a plucky David fighting a ruthless and bureaucratic Goliath.

Sir Freddie filed his latest lawsuit in his adopted home town of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, under American anti-competition laws.

His airline claims BA is in violation of these laws by "exclusionary tactics that deny Laker Airways a fair opportunity to compete on the Miami- London scheduled service route".

Sir Freddie, now 75, said: "Our efforts to resolve the matter were rebuffed by BA. It is a great pity."

Randeep Ramesh

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