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. Jenine Waddington Kalil

    I would love a copy…

    I was with CP Air/Canadian from 1978-1994 and have very fond memories of that time.

    Is it possible to have Sid sign it?

  2. Charlene Van Maren

    I was with Canadian from 1989 to 2000 and left just months before the merger with Air Canada. Please put me on the list for a copy. Thank you Sid

  3. Bev Strachan

    Remember Sid very well, he was an important name to us during my many years with Canadian Pacific, CPAir and CAIL. Would love to order two books. Would appreciate if they could be signed by the author. Please advise details. Many thanks

  4. Stephen

    Hi CB. I am interested in ordering one copy of the book. Please contact me when it is available. Is there any chance of delivery before Xmas? Thanks

  5. hi,
    i would like to order a copy for my dad (a retired cpair, canadian and air canada mechanic/planner) as he is really excited to read this book. Is there any chance of getting one by christmas?
    julie johnston

  6. Terry Brammer

    I was with CP Air from 1963 to 1991 and have many fond memories. I met my wife at CP Air in Rome in 1986 and she moved to Canada in 1989. I would also like a signed copy of Sid’s book.
    Terry and Rosanna Brammer

  7. Richard Stenner

    Please put me down for a copy of the book. Should be very interesting reading. I was with PWA, Canadian and then AC from 1969. Thank you

  8. Fiona Ross

    I would like to order a signed copy as well. My brother and sister and I all worked for Wardair and Canadian Airlines and would love to have a copy of the book in the family.

  9. Debra Dobson

    I would love a copy of Sid’s book as well. I was with Canadian from 1987 to the end ..retired from Air Canada in 2013.

  10. Nathalie

    Hi, Ex Canadian/AC CSA…. would love to read his book! Please let me know how to obtain,
    Thank you, Nathalie (

  11. Grant

    I would love a copy of this book and If you can add me on the list, that would be wonderful!
    Also is there anyway you could ship the book if I was to pay in advance?

      1. Stephanie

        OK Chris

        See you at White Spot, Oakridge at 4:30 pm on Saturday, January 31st.
        I’ll be the one with the red rose between my teeth!!! ;>)

  12. Ken Robinson

    Please put me down for a copy of Sid’s book. I worked at C.P. from Aug 1968 thru to the takeover by AC. Took early retirement from Ac just before they filed for bankruptcy protection in 2003.

    1. Sid will as well be at the Richmond Pionairs Meeting on February 19th at the Richmond Curling Club (contact Ray Bessille for this one). So there are still lots of options to see and talk to him and get a signed copy of his book.

      Chris Best

  13. Terry Casey

    Hoping to order a book please ! Best years of my working career at Canadian. Great team to work with in the Supply Group !

    Terry Casey

      1. Terry Casey

        Hi Chris, thank you for touching base. I am based in Whistler, but will be in town next week. Do you have a store front or is there a place in Richmond (dropping family off at airport) that I can go to get the book. Congrats to you on putting together. Sid is a great guy, you must have enjoyed your time with him putting the story together. Very sorry to hear his health is being challenged.

        Look forward to your feedback Chris, as to were I can locate a book in lower main land next Monday !

        Sincere Regards, Terry Casey

  14. Milos Drahovzal

    I would like to have a copy of the book Canadian Story,I was with CP AIR,Canadian Airlines and Air Canada from 1973 to 2008.Also I would like to know what happened to the paintining which hanged on the top floor( view from the space.?)

  15. Madeleine Barry

    I was with CP Air and CAIL from 1969 to 1986 in Montreal Reservations + Airports and Vancouver Training where I was later seconded to the Gemini Group, which became Galileo Canada (nowTravelPort) . I would love to obtain a copy of Sid Fattedad’s book. How do I go about it? Is it sold in any bookstore?Thank you
    Madeleine Barry
    Richmond, BC

    1. Hi Madelaine

      No problem, I can bring you a copy. I could meet you at Oakridge say Saturday at 11 am in front of the White Spot or at 4:30 or?

      The cost of the book is $32.

      Chris Best
      PS It will eventually be in bookstores at the airport.

  16. Teresa Nesbitt

    Hi Chris. I’d like a copy of the book. I worked with CP Air from 1978-1989 YVRSD and then Sales/NA. Very fond memories. I live close to Oakridge if you plan to be there.

  17. Jim Dawe

    Chris, I would love a copy of Sid’s book. We were both senior clerks in the early 70’s (Sid in Corporate Actg, me in Customer Service – Airports. Wolf Weidmann would be proud, eh? I live in Burnaby near Metrotown. Not sure my heart can take reading it though.

    1. Hi Jim

      It will definitely bring back memories. The book costs $32. Shipping to Burnaby should be about $10. If you do online banking just send me an interac e transfer for $42 to this email address and I will drop it in the post.

      Also need your address. Thanks Jim and enjoy the book.

      Chris Best

  18. Paul Altilia

    Hi Chris, I began in 1988 with Wardair Inflight and then on to Canadian Airlines Labour Relations until I left from Air Canada Labour Relations in 2002. I would appreciate purchasing the book. I live in downtown Vancouver and can send you an e transfer.

  19. John Hopkins

    I would very much like to order a copy of this book. I first met Sid when I joined CP Air in 1974 and I worked for CP Air, Canadian Airlines International and, for a brief period for Air Canada after their takeover in 2000 almost all this time in Treasury/Finance. It would be very interesting to compare Sid’s recollections of this time with my own. If Sid would be kind enough to sign my copy that would be much appreciated. Is it possible to have a copy shipped to my home in Calgary?

  20. John Hopkins

    I received the book in yesterday’s mail, and I am already half way through it! Thanks Chris! I am now the proud owner of 3 book about CP Air/CanadianAirlines; “Bush Pilot with a Briefcase” ,”Wingwalkers” and now this one “An Insider’s Story of the Rise and Fall of Canadian Airlines”.

  21. A. Castellvi

    Hello. I was with CPAir, Canadian Airlines, Air Canada from 1970-2001 and met Sid personally several times. Owning his book and reading it would bring a lot of nostalgia ! Would you be so kind to send me a copy? Please advise as to how I can arrange payment. Thank you.

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