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

  1. Glenn Thomas

    Always wanted to know how this happened… very interesting to read Sid’s recollection. Please put me down for one !

  2. Josie Axelsen

    Hi Sid: Congratulations and thanks for the courage “to tell it as it is”. It was a great pleasure to work with you beginning with the Jack Crawford days. Much thanks too, for the opp. & fun in organizing your huge send-off.
    Hi Chris: May we please have a personalnized authographed copy for our home library. Many thanks.
    Josie, Heintz & Anton Axelsen

  3. Cora Castellvi

    Almost 33 years with CPAir, Canadian ….please add me on your list….i am with the others….we want to know what went on behind close doors. Thank you.

  4. Diana A. V. DaPontes

    As a former employee ( YYZ Reservations Sales & Service ’73-’87) and in memory of my late Aunt, who was a supervisor for many years in Reservations YUL) I would dearly love a (signed if possible) copy of Sid’s book ( I am now in North Carolina) . Please be so kind as to email mail me particulars and of course I will cover any and all costs.

    Wishing great success and with gratitude to Sid for enlightening us;
    Best wishes,

  5. Colleen Evans

    Please add me to your list. It will be great to finally know what really went on behind the scenes. Thank you so much.
    Colleen Evans

  6. Leong (Len) Mah

    To Chris Best. Please add me to list for book. Sid a very special
    CP Air friend, clever mind and very sharp with numbers. He was the best! Please let me know date & place of book signing

  7. Catherine Perodeau

    as a former fly girl with CPAir , I lived thru this with Sid and all the employees of Canadian Airlines. Would love a copy, autographed by Sid if at all possible. A retired chief of flight ops would get a kick out of it. Cheers.
    Catherine Perodeau

  8. Liisa O'Hara

    You are awesome Sid. You promised and now you have delivered. I can hardly wait to receive your autographed copy and read it as I was most fortunate to share the airline years with you. And subsequently, most recently, our years on the board of Terminal City Club. Perhaps we can host a book signing party for you at the Club?

    Best, Liisa O’Hara

  9. Neil McMahon

    Starting in 65 and finishing at the end of 04, it was an incredible ride. I look forward to Sid’s book…signed if possible.
    Neil McMahon

  10. Gillain Brough

    Back in the days before computers I work in pay load control and in many other departments. I started in 68 and retired in 2005. I cannot come to the meeting in Richmond bcoz I’m on a wheelchair. I would like an autograph copy. Thanks

  11. Liz Light

    Have always wanted to know what went on behind the scenes in Canadian’s history. As a former employee, and now retiree of the airline, this will be interesting reading. Please put me down for a copy.

  12. A well respected leader at CP and Canadian, sponsored me in the CGA program when the Airline was looking shaky, I look forward to reading Sid’s book, also signed if you will.
    Thanks for your all,
    Larry Roberts

  13. Barbra Goldman

    As an employee of CP, starting in teletype in YVR I would be most interested in purchasing a copy of Sid’s book as well. I remember him very well, and remember going through it all.

  14. Joy Ratnarajah

    My husband and I worked at CP Air. I worked in accounting and had the opportunity to meet Sid. My husband was in maintenance. We are both pionairs now. We are very interested in getting a copy of the book. Thanks

      1. Hi Again JIm

        I assume that is the Pionairs Langley division. If so Sid is going to be talking about his book on Novemeber 20 at the Richmond Coffee Club. Idf you would like to have him come out and talk at your club about the book, let me know and I will schedule him in.

        Chris Best

  15. Gillian Brough

    worked down the hall from sid in pay load control back in 1968 and retired in 2005. I will appreciarte it if I could have a signed copy of your book.My friend Dennis Dennison would also appreciate a copy Thanks in advance

      1. Hi Jillian

        If you live in Vancouver we are going to have a book launching party with Sid downtown and you can get a signed copy and pay for it at the reception. If you live out of town we will mail it to you and you can pay by cheque.

        I will let you know once the books arrive.


  16. Joe Binder

    Dear Sirs,

    A friend of me who lives in Richmond, B.C., who is an ex-colleague of me when we both worked for CP Air, he in Vancouver and drew my attention to a recently published new book “Canadian Airlines” written by Sid Fattedad, (an Insider’s Story of the Rise and Fall of Canadian Airlines).

    I was employed by CP Air for 17 years (1971-1987) as Country Accounting and reported most of that time to Sid Fattedad, at that time in his capacity of Comptroller of the company.

    I had with Sid a very cordial and pleasant relationship and this is the reason why I’m very much interested to read the book he has written.

    Thank you very much for your prompt reply.

    Yours sincerely,

    Joe Binder

  17. Linda Dion

    Thank you for honouring so many with the gift of your leadership, dedicated service; and now, with the publication of your book. I look forward to receiving a signed copy of your book.

    With Gratitude,

  18. Wendy Brown

    I NEED to get this book for my Dad for Christmas…34 years with the company!! Tried the website and it won’t load/locate…

  19. Jack Bowers

    I was a navigator with Canadian Pacific Airlines for fifteen years until 1971 when we were all replaced with the little black box.My son and daughter in law were pilot and cabin attendant, both starting in 1974 and both now retired from Air Canada. I think that time frame from 1940’s to 1970’s was the golden age of International aviation as far as the technical aspects were concerned
    But I would like to get a copy of Sid’s book to hopefully put to rest a few ugly suspicions about the mess that followed the formation of Canadian Airlines.
    Where can we get a book?

    Jack Bowers

  20. robinpaulroadtrip2012

    Hi Chris,
    The link does not work for me. How do I get on the list to order a copy of Syd’s book?

  21. Gregg Saretsky

    Would love a copy of the book. I was with CP from 1985 to 1997. Still great memories of those times…..trying as they were!

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