The Chairman’s Council of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) is to honor Chris Foyle, Chairman and Founder of Air Foyle, with entry to its prestigious TIACA Hall of Fame in recognition of his innovative and professional leadership in the air cargo industry’.
He will officially receive the 2007 Hall of Fame award at TIACA’s Executive Conference and AGM in Cologne, Germany, in April (15-17th).
The TIACA Hall of Fame was established in 1997 to recognize and honor air cargo professionals who have played a role in the progress of aviation and who through their foresight, performance and dedicated have created and grown the industry, which contributes substantially to the global economy.
Dora Kay, Chair of TIACA’S Chairman’s Council, said: ‘Chris was unanimously nominated and selected by Council members for his many years of innovative and professional leadership in the air cargo industry. We are extremely pleased to induct Chris into the TIACA Hall of Fame’.
TIACA members, industry organizations and the industry press are invited to nominate individuals to be considered for the Hall of Fame. All members of the industry, past and present, are eligible for nomination and the honorees are selected by TIACA’s Chairman’s Council, which includes all past chairman and the current chairman of the Association.
All individuals involved in the air cargo business are eligible to nominate persons for the Hall of Fame.
Chris Foyle has been active in the aviation industry for 30 years. Although he was trained and worked in his family’s world-renowned bookstore Foyles, his aviation career started when he began flying gliders at Dunstable while at Radley College and with the Royal Air Force (RAF) section of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). The CCF promotes responsibility, self reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance, all for which Chris Foyle is well-noted.
Air Foyle was founded modestly in 1978 with one second hand Piper Aztec that served cargo, passenger and aerial survey charters for the British Isles. One of the company’s principal activities in 1979 was to operate the first regular overnight all cargo service for a courier company/ integrator (Skypak) between the UK and Europe. This later developed into Air Foyle becoming TNT’s principal aircraft operator during the period 1987-2000 operating 10 (65% of TNT’s fleet) B.Ae-146 freighters on a nightly scheduled route network around Europe.
In 1982, the company became the UK agent for a German airline operating the Lockheed Hercules aircraft, which provided Chris Foyle with experience of handling outsized cargo and in the same year he placed the first order for the revolutionary new observation aircraft the Edgley Optica which was delivered to Air Foyle in 1985.
After years of negotiation, in 1989 Chris Foyle initiated a partnership with Antonov Design Bureau of the then Soviet Union, and became the exclusive sales agent in the western world for the charter and lease of Antonov 124 giant freighters operated by the Antonov Design Bureau of Kiev. The fleet quickly grew to seven AN124 aircraft as well as two AN-22 (the world’s largest turboprop aircraft) and the only AN-225, the biggest aircraft in the world, carrying unusually heavy and outsized cargo worldwide.
Leased to Air Foyle under a UK Department of Transport permit, the AN-124 aircraft could be operated with British traffic rights worldwide. Air Foyle has carried an extraordinary variety of outsized cargo including a railway locomotive, fire fighting equipment to aid in putting out the fires in the Kuwait oil fields at the end of the Gulf War, yachts in the Americas Cup race, oil drilling equipment, bulldozers, Richard Branson’s Round the World Hot Air Balloon, whole aircraft, generators, transformers, etc, as well as completing large many series of flights for the Defense Ministries and Agencies of nearly all Western governments for the first Gulf War in 1990/9