An Insider’s Story of the Rise and Fall of Canadian Airlines

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Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: Available
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0-9868793-3-3

Sid Fattedad a former Canadian Airlines VP, intertwines his and the story of the Rise & Fall of Canadian Airlines.


The demise of Canada’s other National air carrier, Canadian Airlines International in 1999 was heart-wrenching to employees, unions, management and to the citizens of Canada.

Confusion and stories abound as to what actually happened. This book sets the record straight as the man behind the employee rescue plan to save the airline decides to tell his story. Sid Fattedad emigrated to Vancouver from Hong Kong in 1968 to play the drums in a rock and roll band, the Five-Man Cargo. Having worked as an articling student in Hong Kong, the lustre of the music industry soon wore off and he found himself working as a junior accounting clerk for Canadian Pacific Airlines.

It wasn’t long before Canadian Pacific became CP Air, the planes were painted orange and Sid became senior clerk of corporate accounting.

The rising cost of oil in the 1970s, labour unrest and the acquisition of new planes made running an airline hard on the bottom line and the accounting department was always in the forefront. It was work all week, socialize at the pubs on the weekend with a tightly knit group called the ‘boat crew,’ who would often travel to England commandeering riverboats on the canals of the Norfolk Broads, visiting pubs along the way. Sid became known as Kato.

After receiving his CGA Sid was promoted to Travelling Auditor where he learned first hand CP Air’s overseas operations. The ‘night of the long knives, the Kremlin and ‘The General,’ all play into the story as the 1980s saw a sea of change at CP Air… Colussy fails to purchase Wardair and Sid is named to the board of TransPacific Tours Limited a little known but highly profitable subsidiary company. Don Carty purchases Nordair and Sid becomes Comptroller of CP Air.

A backwards take-over. Carty attempts to purchase PWA but is thwarted by the FASB and PWA purchases CP Air. Sid is appointed Vice- President of the Pacific Division, the most profitable division in the company. In 1988, PWA buys out Wardair. The new company made up of PWA, CP Air, Wardair and Nordair is called CAIL.

Sid loved working in the field and got to know all the key players in the Pacific Division Tony Buckley, Tokyo, Harry Hargadon, Hong Kong, Keith Pope, Australia, Roy Fullerton, Hawaii, David Solloway, Thailand, Willy Thorogood, Shanghai, Warwick Beadle, New Zealand, Mike Waters, Fiji and Larry Nelson. Sid institutes the Quality program which leads to another promotion to Calgary as Senior Vice President in charge of customer service worldwide.

In 1991 he returned to Vancouver as Vice President Western region and retired in 1992. Loved by all for his devotion to the company, he was given a huge send-off.

A PWA merger with American Airlines, that same year, falls through and PWA stock drops, leaving the real possibility that a merger with Air Canada might be in the works thus creating a domestic monopoly. Not good for management, unions, the consumer or the airline’s employees.

Sid maps out a plan to save the airlines and forms the Council of Canadian Airline Employees. The employees decide to try and purchase the airline themselves. They get all but one of the unions on board and present their offer.

What takes place from here on in you will have to read about it in Sid’s book but it is filled with treachery, deceit and government interference.

Sid went on to a second career as Chief Financial Officer for the Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia for 14 years from 1993 to 2007.

In 2012, Sid was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

437 thoughts on “An Insider’s Story of the Rise and Fall of Canadian Airlines


    Anyone who worked for CPAir and PWA and then Canadian should want to know more about what happened… individuals, we just showed up to work and did the best we could and tried to ignore the Toronto Globe and Mail everyday calling us “CASH STRAPPED CANADIAN AIRLINES”.

  2. Sandy Kollenz

    Oh the good old days! As a former Wardair employee… I am always interested in hearing what was behind the scenes! Let me know where to get the rest of the story!

  3. Marie-Andrée Mathieu

    Hi, Sid, you may or may not remember me. I was secretary to Don Cameron. . . remember the exec suite at the Ops Centre. Glad you wrote about our history and looking forward to reading it.
    Luv, Marie-Andrée Mathieu

  4. Paul Paulsen

    Please put me on your list. I would like a a 20 yr CP employee, I would be interested in knowing what really happened.

  5. W. H. Peter Allchin

    I consider myself to be a good friend of Sid’s over the years. We did not always agree on things however we always seemed to be able to agree on our boating missions in the UK. I would love to read this book, please let me know when it is available.

  6. Paul Goodman

    Please put me on your list for your book.I have read ”Wing Walkers”so many times I need a new take on what really happened …………..

  7. Mel Crothers

    Would like to purchase a copy please. Knowing Sid and with 35 years starting at CP – then PW then Canadian, it should be interesting to read his point of view

  8. Dorothy Bach

    Can I please be put on the list for a book too?????….will be an amazing read for sure, so I have to have one!!!!….was a great ride for 30+ years and will be interesting to get Sids take on it all. Thanks Chris

  9. Hello
    Would like to have a copy of Sid’s book please. I want to see in print what Sid says went down that weekend he went to purchase PWA! It will be quite the story I am sure.
    Marlie Kelsey

  10. Nick Atamanchuk

    Hi CB, I spent almost 40 years with CPA then Canadian, would like to get a copy of the book to see what really happened.

    Thank you Nick Atamanchuk

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