The letter below is from Lord Pakenham (later to become the Earl of Longford) the Minister of Civil Aviation, congratulating BSAA Chairman John Booth on the performance of the airline on the Berlin Airlift  :-    


Minister of Civil Aviation                                               Ministry of Civil Aviation,

                                                                                          Ariel House,


                                                                                                London, W.C.2.


R.59925/48/III/Private Office                                                17th March, 1949.


My dear Booth, 

          I have recently seen a report on the operations of the various companies engaged on the Berlin Airlift during January 1949.

          This Report, from which an extract follows, makes it clear that B.S.A.A. are doing extremely well; in fact they produced the best civil performance for the month;

          “This company put up an excellent show in January in spite of the handicap of having a Tudor out of commission from the 16th to the 24th after it had been damaged by a bowser in the hangar. Considerable credit for this improvement must go to Mr. Bailey, the B.S.A.A. representative sent to replace Mr. Morris, as he tackled his job with energy and enthusiasm.

          “The regularity of this company’s effort over the 24 hours of each day was very creditable indeed and they also achieved a serviceability factor of 86% (Chief Engineer Mr. Parry).”

          The daily average of 3.65 sorties per serviceable aircraft during this month was a splendid effort and reflects the greatest credit on all concerned. I should like to congratulate you and the staff of B.S.A.A. engaged on the Airlift in Germany on the Corporation’s fine performance during the first month of this year.


                                                Yours sincerely,

                                                (signed) PAKENHAM


J.W. Booth, Esq.,

British South American Airways Corporation,

Starways House,

King Street,

St. James’s London S.W.1.