Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson Aims to Save Astraeus Airlines
Not only does Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson refuse to go down as a disgruntled former employee of Astraeus Airlines, the Boeing 757 Captain is hatching a three-tier plan to salvage the financially strapped Icelandic business-owned company, which ordered all pilots and staff to cease operations on Nov. 21.
“Firstly, I’m already working on a plan to try to save Astraeus, or at least create a new business with new jobs for my friends and former colleagues at Astraeus," said Dickinson in a press release. "This is a serious plan involving people who are very good at their jobs. I see the potential for a viable operation, should acquisition of the company prove achievable. There is no reason why the original business model, which established Astraeus as possibly the best and most successful organization in its sector, cannot be resurrected to the benefit of former employees and airline partners and clients alike."
The second and third part of Dickinson's plan involves potential businesses the singer hopes to set up to improve business and create profits. "I am involved in a project which could mean the creation of as many as 1,500 jobs in aerospace in South Wales," he said. "Thirdly, I'm a long way into the development of a flight training company -- Real World Aviation -- which will be perfectly placed to help address the aviation industry’s perennial challenge: producing new and qualified pilots. For some reason, even in difficult economic times, there is still a shortage of qualified commercial pilots."
Dickinson, who was flying the last scheduled Astraeus flight, from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Manchester, England, when all company employees were asked to step down, was surprised by the press headlines implying he had lost his livelihood. "I’m amused that the less well informed seem to be portraying me as having to resort to busking on the streets following the closure of Astraeus," he said. "The more astute members of my circle are aware there’s rather more going on in my world."
Ultimately, Dickinson said, the collapse of Astraeus could be a blessing-in-disguise. “I’m extremely upbeat about these opportunities, particularly the potential for a revival, in some form, of Astraeus," he said. "The removal of Icelandic ownership from the mix has removed a huge burden and barrier to the redevelopment potential. The enthusiasm is also fueled by the deluge of messages I received from the second I switched on my phone after landing the last Astraeus flight on Monday, and, of course, the interest of a number of prospective investors."
Dickinson insisted he will be behind the controls of another airplane in the future, bur right now he has more ambitious goals. "I may be at the controls of the company that operates that airliner, and others like it.”