A CRUSADING aviation pioneer who launched the world’s first cut price transatlantic flights has been honoured by a Runcorn coach firm.

Anthony’s Travel of Cormorant Drive has christened the latest addition to their fleet ‘The Sprit of Sir Freddie Laker’, in memory of an historic family trip 35 years ago.

Partner Richard Bamber, aged 40, said: “In 1977, when I was six, it was an ambition of my parents to visit the United States, however, due to costly flights, this was not possible until Laker Airways launched Skytrain.

“We were able to turn dreams into reality and visited California for a month.”

Richard vividly remembers the excitement of the trip with his dad Tony, now aged 65, mum Anne aged 62 , brother, David, aged 43, late nan Mary Shallcross and late cousin, Roger Woodhead.

They set off on a 2,000 mile trek along the west coast, as far north as Chico, where the last savage American Indian tribe was discovered.

Richard said: “When we came home, we were like Runcorn’s answer to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as we were featured in local papers.

“None of this would have been possible it it wasn’t for Freddie Laker who not only revolutionised the air industry, but transport in general.”

Their expedition, so rare a generation ago, was captured in the Runcorn Guardian under the headline ‘Grandmother went halfway round the world’ The new coach is silver and takes their fleet of Neoplan coaches to six.

Freddie Allen Laker, Sir Freddie’s son, said: “This is an unexpected and fun tribute to my father’s legacy.

“My family and are thrilled that Anthony’s Travel are passionate about the same ideals that my father believed in.”

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