Bernard J Keay
Having completed nine years service in the R.A.F. as an Air Traffic Controller my civilian career commenced at Gatwick airport in 1966 in the capacity of Assistant Station Manager to the ground handling agent Airborne Aviation Services.
One year later I was approached to head up the UK office at Gatwick for a Spanish passenger airline, Air Spain operating Britannia 312 aircraft.
My introduction to the world of air cargo commenced during my term with Air Spain by converting one of the Britannia aircraft into cargo configuration, which then operated the first ever flight by air for Marks and Spencer to convey tomatoes from Alicante to Manston.
In 1970 I joined forces with a colleague, with whom I remained a business partner for 39 years, during which time we formed I.A.S. Cargo Airlines, who then became the first UK airline to have the DC8 type aircraft certified onto the UK register. In 1978 I.A.S. won the coveted Queens Award for Export Achievement.
Since 1981 until my retirement in 2009 my efforts were focused in forming Intavia Ltd. who became the marketing arm of South African registered African International Airways, operating worldwide cargo charters with DC8 aircraft. During this period A.I.A. specialised in the movement of all types of cargo, including bloodstock and livestock. A.I.A. s outstanding quality of service won them the prestigious B.A.C.A. award two years running as Best Cargo Charter Airline.