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They are often overlooked, and some are never seen. But without the backroom people the airline was going nowhere. Here we pay homage to them. Amongst those people that were seldom seen were the Operations staff, those in rostering or finance. Route planning, administration staff, operations and even those that looked after uniforms in the stores. We did all see the check in staff who handled our luggage and then supervised the gates to ensure that we got aboard safely, but what about the people who trained them? As well as these fantastic people we give a mention to the people who answered the telephones and booked flights, making sure that dietry requirements were met and made sure that unaccompanied young passengers were looked after at the airport and in the air. We would like to expand this section of the site and that is where you can help! e-mail pictures to If you are interested in having a page of your own in the Dan Air Directory then we can help out there too. There is no limit to the amount of pictures that you can have on your page or how many stories you would like to share with our site visitors. Why not join our, ever increasing, list? Visit the page to add your details. The pictures below can be enlarged by clicking on the small image.

In it's early days at Gatwick a company called Gatwick Handling looked after the check in and ground services such as catering. That company went bankrupt in 1972 leaving Dan Air without a company to handle it's passengers. The company was already under pressure to find new check in desks and so it opened talks with British Caledonian who were in a similar position. These talks progressed well until Caledonian merged with British United in early 1972. This left Dan Air searching for an urgent replacement. Freddie Laker's fledgling Laker Airways joined forces with Dan Air. Laker were keen to take on all comers in the Transatlantic race. The British Airports Authority agreed to give the two airlines a ten year licence for their concession. Gatwick Handling was a remarkable success story. Many airlines chose to have GH as their handling agent. After Laker's demise in 1982 Dan Air took 100% control of the company. The BAA however did not want one company having a monopoly. It insisted Dan Air sell 50% of the company. Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines both from the USA took 25% each. Subsequently Gatwick Handling expanded and a Sister Company Manchester Handling was formed. Dan Air was sold to British AIrways in 1992. As the flag carrier had it's own handling facility at Gatwick it did not need Gatwick Handling. The successful company was sold on to Delta and Northwest, each taking a 25% share. The largest handling agent in Gatwick was now owned by two American carriers. The company continued to grow and even had stations in Ghana. Now rebranded as GHI the company was sold to Go Ahead in 1998. Go Ahead merged with British Midland Handling Services, Midland Handling and Reed Avaition in 2000 to form a giant handling organisation called Aviance UK which is still trading today.


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