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Parliamentary Tribute to Eagle 1958

The following is an extract from Hansard Feb 1958.
Matter for discussion was Air Transport Development

  Hansard HC Deb 28 February 1958 vol 583 cc704-97 704
§ Mr. William Shepherd (Cheadle)

I have said that there is scope for the private operator and I want to tell the 759 House, and the hon. Member for Feltham, how successful private enterprise can be.

One of the firms which has done more to bring about cheap fares and to bring a new idea to the industry is Eagle Airways, which is perhaps the most enterprising firm in Europe today. It has started with the idea of providing an all-in holiday for almost as low a cost as the price of an ordinary ticket for the air journey. This is an ingenious idea and is an example of how flexible and enterprising a private enterprise company can be. I am convinced that a public corporation would never have conceived this idea. There would have been a dozen reasons why it was impracticable to do it.

I cite Eagle Airways not as an advertisement—I understand that the company's bookings are so full that it would not make any difference, anyhow—but to show that this company has taken a new turn in the business which has given a great deal of pleasure to a great number of people who would not otherwise have been able to afford to go by air. An entirely new avenue in civil aviation has been opened up. Therefore, to those hon. Members opposite who are a little critical of private enterprise. I say that it has a part to play and can do those things which a larger, less enterprising and more sedate public corporation is not likely to accept.

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