Surprisingly few people have served on the Board of Dan-Air. The company was operated for 39 years. All but two of those years had seen the company make a profit. At the time of the BA takeover Dan-Air was the oldest airline in the UK operating under the same name. Profit margins in the aviation world are notoriously low, so it is testiment to the skill of all who worked for the company that it was able to succeed where others failed.
The last two years had been diffcult ones for Dan-Air. A determined effort by Air Europe had led to drastic measures being implemented to keep the airline afloat. Fred Newman, who had successfully steered the company through oil crisis', war, and recession had to relinquish his role as chairman when banks brought in David James as chairman following a rescue package loan
The new cahirman brought in several new board members. This caused alarm for many of Dan-Air's existing board who had a combined knowledge of the aviation industry that could not be matched anywhere in the world. Some of the new board members did have experience in aviation, albeit in the long haul market, others had only experienced the airline world as a passenger. Knowing the intricate differences between charter and scheduled services is complex, as is the ebb and flow of seasonal flights. The decision to move a predominately charter carrier into a scheduled one was, in my opinion, a fatal error. The collapse of Air Europe had left not only a gap in the scheduled market, but excess charter business that was up for grabs. An opportunity that the new brand of Dan-Air failed to capitalise on. Dan-Air Engineering had been an important part of the airline's business, not only servicing Dan-air's fleet, but of several other carriers. The decision to sell the company on the grounds that Dan-Air accounted to 40% of its business was, again, in my opinion, a bad one. Almost fifteen hundred people worked there. The base at Lasham had valuable spares and the use of its own runway. Bases at Manchester and Gatwick had not only spare parts worth millions but the technical know how to tender for third party work. The sale however did clear much of the debt that Dan-Air had accumulated. Attempts to merge the airline with another carrier had failed. An eleventh hour agreement was made with British Airways who would buy the airline for £1. They would take on the existing debts. A huge part of the revenue made from the sale of the Engineering division went in fees and salaries to the board.
The sale in November 1992 was looked on by many with horror. The airline always had made a loss in winter months and the surge of summer business from charter work compensated for this. Dan-Air was asset rich. Many of the aircraft, although older than rivals, were owned outright. With combined, real estate, including prime locations in the centre of London. aircraft spares, 50% in a profitable ground handling company and most improtant of all, slots at airports all over Europe, Dan-Air surely was a viable company. James had even announced that he saw the compay heading towards profitabiility in a short period.
The company spirit that had endured throughout Dan-Air's history was quickly eroded. The staff were bitter. Not at Dan-Air, the company many people had forked for all their working lives. A company that had seen generations follow their parents into the airline. They were bitter at what had happened to them when the company was taken over. Dan-Air flew many types of aircraft, some of which were only flown by Dan-Air in the UK. Only flight deck crews who were trained on specific types were offered a transfer to British Airways. Flight crews who were not trained on BA's fleet were made redundant. They would have to pay out of their own pockets to become licenced on other types. These crew members found real hardship. The vast majority of Dan-Air staff were made redundant. Pilots were forced to take BA to court for proper severance pay. We wanted to pay tribute to the board members who were at the helm of Dan-Air when it was at its most successful.
Board members who served during the turbulant years of 1990-92 are also featured.
This section of the site covers the Board and management of the Airline. Those who served on the board are highlighted blue in the table. If we have made any ommisions or errors then you can contact us and we will correct it. If you are a former Board member or a family member we would love to hear from you. You can send us pictures and stories which we would be happy to include on the site contact us.
FRED NEWMAN CBE
MR FEF Newman CBE, MC who died peacefully on 19th October 2012, aged 96 after a short illness. Mr. Newman was chairman of Dan-Air for most of its history. The passing of Fred Newman CBE after a short illness aged 96 marked in lots of ways the final chapter of the era of British independent airlines. Dan-Air was the only airline that kept its original name for the period of its operation from 1953 until 1992. Dan-Air was a pioneering company under Fred Newman, his company was one of the first to introduced cheap flying for the masses.
In 1922 Fred’s father, Frank Newman, founded the ship broking business Davies & Newman. After an education at The Leys School, Cambridge, Fred joined the company and began learning the business, spending time in various continental port cities. He enjoyed this. During this time he learned several languages too. Following the outbreak of World War II he joined up and saw service in Burma with the Honourable Artillery Company reaching the rank of Captain and awarded the MC.
Dan-Air was founded in May 1953 as an offshoot of the shipping business. An aircraft was given to the company as part payment on an existing loan. It had never beenn Davies & Newman's plan to enter the airline world.
Fred was chairman of the company and remained so for 37 of it's 39 years of operation. At its peak with a fleet of almost 60 aircraft, employing 4,500 staff and flying more than 6 millioon passengers annually. Fred was known to be a tough cookie in business and was able to steer the company with dignity in an industry that is notoriously cut throat
In 1971 Fred Newman took Davies and Newman public through a flotation. With the stock market quotation came respectability, and scheduled services began to be tacked on to the charter operations.
By 1984 the scheduled services devision was carrying a million scheduled passengers a year and riding high. Two years later, Davies and Newman reported profits of £6.7m.
Fred’s wife Peggy predeceased him in 2002. His son Michael joined the business and his other son David became a Priest. To his daughter Margaret and his two sons and their families Dan-Air Remembered pass on the condolences. Fred was a quiet man who deservedly has a senior place in the history of British aviation.
FRED NEWMAN CBE
Co Founder Davies & Newman
CHAIRMAN 1953 - 1990
CAPT BOB ATKINS
CAPTAIN BOB ATKINS
Capt. Robert (Bob) Atkins - Personel
Joined Dan Air from the RAF in November 1955. He joined the board in May 1963 as chief pilot. He then went on to become Operations Director and Personel Director. He was also the chief flying pilot.
1963 - Chief Pilot
1984 - flight Operations
CAPT GEOFFREY BALDOCK
CAPTAIN GEOFFREY BALDOCK
Left Dan-Air for Chief Pilot position with Air Europe
Mr. Danny Linton Bernstein
1985 - Commerical Director - 1991 - Charter
Onto Monarch Airlines where he became managing Director before becoming Chairman. He was also chairman of the Airline Group Ltc, President of the International Air Carrier Association and Chairman of the British Air Transport Association. He was also the first Chairman of Sustainable Aviation UK and Flying Matters during this period
ALAN KERR BUCHANNAN
Worked as a lawyer on the Dan-Air board. Later onto British Airways
ROBERT C CLOTHIER
Mr.ROBERT CHARLES CLOTHIER
May - October 1991
Mr.Errol Cossey - Associate Director
To Air Europe / Air 2000 / Flying Colours / Airworld/ JMC / First Choice (Resigned at merger) - Consultant to Britannia & Thomson Airways
Mr. Len Crockford
Len joined Dan-Air when British Eagle collapsed. He stayed with Dan-Air until FLS took over Dan-Air Engineering.
He passed away in 2021
WILLIAM J CROSBY
Mr. William J Crosby
Sales Director - 1992 Technical Director
Onto British Airways (European Operations At Gatwick) Resigned November 1992
Mr. E.M DAVIES
JOHN W DAVIES
Mr. JOHN WINGETT DAVIES OBE (1908 – 11 September 1992)
Managing Director of Davies Cinemas Ltd, Chairman: British Cinematograph Theatres, Deputy Chairman of Davies and Newman, parent company of Dan-Air, President: Cinema Exhibitors' Association.
Mr. MALCOLM DAVIES
Promoted To The Board In 1984
Mr. J DENMAN
Promoted To The Board As Finance Director 1992
Mr. MIKE ELLIS
JOHN MILTON DWANE
MR.JOHN MILTON DWANE
MANAGING DIRECTOR - DAN AIR ENGINEERING
Ted Evans, ex Managing Director of Dan Air Engineering passed away 11 Dec 2009. Friends from Dan-Air Engineering say he was widely respected and admired as both an excellent boss and all round good chap.
Mr. John Fitzgerald
UK Sales Director (1992) From Cathay Pacific- General manager of revenue performance.
Fitzgerald was previously sales and marketing manager for Cathay Pacific.
MR. David Frost
Joined the Dan-Air Board as Director of Information Technology
CAPT. MALCOLM GRANT
Captain Malcom Grant
Joined Dan-Air as a pilot and became chief training pilot. Famed for training female pilot Yvonne Sintes.
Joined Dan-Air Board as Deputy Chief Pilot
Became fleet manager in 1983
EDWARD CYRIL HARTWELL
Edward Cyril Hartwell
Joined Dan-Air Board
Left to join Air Europe when airline was formed
Passed away April 2020 aged 92
DAVID PASSMORE HERBERT
Mr. David Passmore Herbert
Joined the Dan-Air Board in 1984 As assistant Group Secretary - Replaced J.W Davies as Company Solicitor
Board member of nine Davies & Newman companies- passed away 22nd August 2012
Mr. David Hughes
1981 - Industrial Relations Officer - Responsible to Malcolm Davies
1982 - Cabin Staff Manager
1979 - Deputy Managing director
1981 - Managing Director
Brought in as 'Company Dr'
Replaced F.E.F Newman as Chairman
Oversaw the selling of the airline to BA for £1
PAUL HENRY JARVIS
Mr. Paul Henry Jarvis
Has since held various directorships with airlines.
Mr. Wilf Jones
1978 - Finance Director Replaced Martin O'Regan.
Wilf had been Martin's second in command.
Worked with Dan Air's computer department
Was a member of the board representing Dan-air Engineering
Onto the International Federation of Airworthiness
CAPT JOHN MAYES
Capt John Mayes
After 16 years in the RAF Capt Mayes joined Dan-Air as a pilot
Served on the board until 1992
Went onto Air Foyle
Mr. Don Laws
1981 - Associate Director
Contracts Manager Commercial Department - Projects
Onto Airline Management Associates Ltd.
MR. A.R. LOUDEN
Mr. Don Laws
1969 - Finanical Director
CAPT. KEITH MOODY
Captain Keith Moody
MR. EDWARD MOURDANT
Mr. Edward Mourdant
We do not have any details about this director.
MR. MICHAEL NEWMAN
Appointed Deputy Chairman in 1989
MR. EAMONN EUGENE MULLANEY
Mr.EAMONN EUGENE MULLANEY
After Dan-Air Eamonn went onto British Airways (European Operations At Gatwick)
He then became chairman of Excel (XL) Airways until it went bankrupt.
He has subsequently held many directorships of companies, mainly within the travel and aviation sector.
MR. MARTIN O'REGAN
Mr Martin O'Regan
Dan - Air Finance Director
Onto Air Europe / Air 2000 / Flying Colours / Airworld / JMC / First Choice (Resigned at merger)
Consultant to Britannia & Thomson Airway
MR. JOHN OLSEN
Mr. John Olsen.
Director Dan-Air Group Of Companies
Joined from Cathay Pacific
MR. JERRY PENWARDEN
Mr Jerry Penwarden
Director of Customer Services. He replaced Vic Sheppard, who took up another position within the industry. Penwarden had 25 years' experience in aviation and had been chief operating officer of Dragonair.
MRS. BARBARA PHILLIPS
Mrs Barbara Philips
1992 - Associate Director
MRS. BARBARA PHILLIPS
Mr. Roy Philips
We don't have any details about this board member
MR. RON A PIGEON
Mr Ron A Pigeon
Joined as Commercial Manager in 1955, he died in 1970
MR. SIMON POULTON
Finance Director (1992)
Mr. H.B. Olsen
Group Managing Director, who came from Cathay Pacific having 25 years of aviation experience.
MR. DAVID JOHN QUINN
Mr. David John Quinn
Joned the board as Company Secretary of Dan-Air Services Ltd
He was also a director of Gatwick Handling and DNATA
MR. GUY C. RUFFLE
Mr. Guy C. Ruffle
Director - Manchester Engineering Base
MR. PETER HENRY RYAN
Mr. Peter Henry Ryan
Chairman - Dan-Air Services
Joined the board along with David James
MR. VIC SHEPPARD
Mr. Vic Sheppar
1965-1988 - British Caledonian
Joned Dan Air in 1988 - Commercial General Manager of European Route
August 1990 - Head of Scheduled Services after John Varrier took early retirement.
Onto Emirates where he was Sales and Marketing Manager until retirement in 2009.
MR. RON SMITH
Mr. Ron Smith
Ron joined Dan Air in 1958 as deputy chief inspector. He took over the Chief inspector position a decade later. 1971 - Technical Director. Appointed to the board in 1979 where he served until 1985. He retained a consultancy for a further year. He had a distinguised RAF background seeing him serve as a flight engineer & pilot for four years from 1942. His first position in Civil Aviation was with airline Aquilla Airways. He died in 1987
MR. RON SMITH
Mr. Michael Anthony Street
Part of the final board
MR. ALAN SNUDDEN
Mr. Alan Snudden
A Dan Air original. as Managing Director he helped the company introduce some of it's most prestigious aircraft, including the Comet. He personally negotiated the contracts for this aircraft including the sales and spares. He made the deal for training for the aircraft. He left in 1979 to take up the same role with Monarch Airlines in 1979,
MR. FRANK TAPLING
Mr.Frank Tapling R.I.P 2011
After the war Tapling rejoined the TA and served with the Cheshire Regiment, the North Staffordshire Regiment and the Surreys. He was awarded the Territorial Decoration in 1951 and received a Bar in 1961. He returned to Lever Brothers and became marketing manager of Rank Hovis. Joned Dan Air in 1969
1969 - Commercial Director and played a notable part in the expansion of the company’s passenger and freight services.
After retiring, he was active in charitable work . In his later years, he enjoyed playing golf, and was captain of Woking Golf Club. He died December 7 2011
MR. ROBERT WALLING
Mr. Robert Walling
Head Of Contracts
MR. E.E WALLIS
Mr. E.E Wallis
We don't have any details about this board member.
MR. ROBIN WICKS
Head of International Sales
Robin Wicks came from the Diner's Club Corporate Card division, was previously in charge of European sales with Air Europe.
MR. BRYN WILLIAMS
Mr. Bryn V.S Williams
(Berlin Airlift Veteran Bryn was a Welshman with RAF credits).
Associate Director Dan Air Engineering
Became Joint Managing Director of Dan Air Engineering
Retired at the end of 1980
MR. JOHN VARRIER
Mr John Varrier
Scheduled Services Director
1991 - Personel
CAPT ARTHUR LARKMAN
CRAPT ARTHUR LARKMAN
Held several positions on the Dan-Air Board
Including that of Chief Pilot
Recently pubished his memoirs
CAPT. JOHN MAYES
Captain John Eric Charles Mayes
1983 - Deputy Chief Pilot (Training)
1990 - Director Airline Operations
1991 - Executive Director
MR. R.F. NEWMAN
Group Commercial Director
SIR IAN PEDDER
Sir Ian Pedder
After a packed military career Sir Ian joined Dan-Air in 1984
1989 - Appointed Chairman Of Dan Air Services on the Davies & Newman Board
He became vice-chairman, and later Chairman of Dan-Air before it was taken over by British Airways in 1992.
MRS. BARBARA PHILLIPS
Mr. Roy Philips
We don't have any details about this board member
MR. JOHN REDBURN
MR. JOHN REDBURN
Mr. Timothy John Redburn - Known as John Redburn
Redburn has held senior roles at a number of companies, including Simon Group, NightFreight and Dan-Air, and was also previously a non-executive director of Chestertons.
MR. DON SIDDAWAY
Mr. Don Siddaway
Joined the Dan-air board in 1978 as Finance Director
Replaced Errol Cossey.
MR. RICHARD 'DICK' SPURRELL
Mr. Richard 'Dick' Spurrell
MR. CHARLES H WHYTE
Mr. Charles Robertson Whyte
1992 - Group Managing Director
MR. GEORGE YEOMANS
Mr. GEORGE YEOMANS
In my opinion the Board is often overlooked as a arena of interest. These people facinated me. How they made their decisions and what discussions must have taken place behind closed doors. I appreciate that the images that match the above people is far from complete. If you can help in ANY way then please do so. You can send your pictures here. It would help if there are any board members who are missing from our pages, or if any titles, positions and details are incorrect. If you were a board member and wish to give an interview contact me here