Novels about Airlines – Which books do you recommend?

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  • Bath_VIP
    Participant

    Many of us will be looking forward to our summer holidays soon and some of us will be taking books to read.

    One genre that seems to be quite sparse are good novels based around the running of an airline. I have a recommendation to share but I would love to hear yours as well.

    I’ve just finished reading “Round the Bend” by Nevil Shute, first published in 1951. Shute’s books have always had an aviation or transport related theme and he has been a family favourite from when I was a kid but somehow I’ve never read this story. My feeling now is one of serious regret at missing out on this superb novel when I was younger.

    See Amazon link here https://www.amazon.com/Round-Bend-Nevil-Shute-audiobook/dp/B004K0NKFI/ref=sr_1_7?crid=2A2WR5UU9I51D&keywords=nevil+shute&qid=1657797524&sprefix=nevil+s%2Caps%2C133&sr=8-7

    The story is about an aircraft engineer who sets up an airline in the Persian Gulf after WW2. Based in Bahrain, he ends up providing freight & passenger charters throughout Asia. Along the way he has to find customers, recruit staff, buy aircraft, maintain them, get finance, deal with local politics, plan his operations and so many other matters. It’s an absolute education as to how to start an airline in the late 1940s but I doubt the issues the story tackles are any different to today, 75 years later. This is without mentioning the key theme of the book which Shute blends brilliantly with all of the above. If aviation and airlines interest you, you will enjoy this book.

    So that’s one recommendation but then I started to think about what other airline related novels there are. The key requirement is that the airline must be the centrepiece of the novel with the stories flowing around it. I immediately struggled to think of others so I thought I would throw it open to you!

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    _glbetrkkr_
    Participant

    How neat! I’m adding it to my cart now. Arthur Hailey’s Airport comes to mind. I only watched the film version, but shall read the book very soon.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Tramor01
    Participant

    May I suggest “Beyond the Blue Horizon” by Alexander Frater
    It relieves the scheduled route of the old Imperial Airways Eastbound Empire Service.
    I’ve read it a couple of times and can thoroughly recommend

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    Tramor01
    Participant

    Ooops tried to edit my last post but somehow I can’t
    It relieves the scheduled route ……should have read “re-lives” 😀


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Both are excellent, though the Frater is travel writing, I think, rather than a novel.

    There’s also
    Flying, by Henry Sutton
    https://www.harrybrett.com/flying

    For a non-fiction choice, I’ve read

    Beyond Lion Rock: The Story of Cathay Pacific Airways by Gavin Young
    or
    Ryanair: How a Small Irish Airline Conquered Europe

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    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    I also have this one but to be honest I could not make head or tail of it

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/01/flights-a-novel-that-never-settles-down

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    PatJordan
    Participant

    A very recent novel by James Swallow : “Airside” is well worth a read.

    And Arthur Hailey’s “Airport” is always worth a re-read.

    Safe travels,

    Pat


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    … and Mark’s books (Skyfaring, How to Land a Plane and Imagine a City)

    http://markvanhoenacker.com/


    Montysaurus
    Participant

    Airframe by Michael Crichton. Someone sitting next to me saw me reading it and commented about lack of fear of flying.


    Poshgirl58
    Participant

    What an interesting topic!

    I’ve just finished Jet Boss by Captain Laura Savino. Okay, it’s non-fiction but a good insight into a female in a man’s world.

    Another pilot, Karlene Petitt, has written the “Flight for ….” fiction series which are based on her experiences as an airline pilot. She’s also done a couple of non-fiction books. Haven’t read them, yet.

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