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. Frank van der Voet

    Hello – I just found out about your book “An Insider’s Story …”. Kindly provide instructions on how I can purchase this book in YYC? This promises to be a great read.

      1. Marj McPherson

        I just called the Virgin Bookstore at YYC airport. They have ordered 5 and should be in next week!

  2. Tara Anand & Bob Tiede

    Hi Chris .. My background is CP/CAIL now with AC .. my husband’s is PW/CAIL now with AC .. we would love 2 signed copies of Sid’s book .. just reading the intro with all the familiar names brings back so many memories ! We are here in YVR .. pls tell us how we can get copies .. notice from previous comments you sometimes meet at White Spot Oakridge or we can p/u somewhere else ? Thx !
    Tara & Bob

    1. Hi Tara

      Thanks for the email. You have two options. 1. You can pick them up at the Virgin Bookstore at YVR ‘s domestic terminal or if you have to have signed copies they will have to come from me. I am not sure if Sid is back from a recent trip so I will have to check tonight as he would have to sign them.
      Let me know which you prefer.

      Chris Best

  3. Tara Anand & Bob Tiede

    Thanks for your quick reply Chris .. well, signed would be great of course but don’t want to put you out and I walk by that store every day at work .
    .. never thought to look ! lol I can pick them up at YVR but if Sid is ever doing another signing, could you let us know and we’ll bring them ? Thx much Chris ! Tara & Bob

      1. Charlene Van Maren


        How can I get an autographed copy of this book? I live in Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

        Thank you,
        Charlene Van Maren

      2. Don Leyland

        Hello Chris. My address is 9672 Townline Diversion, Surrey, BC. V3V 2T2. Thanks. Best regards, Don Leyland.

        Sent from my iPhone


      3. Charlene Van Maren

        Thank you, Chris. I’ve received confirmation back from my bank that the transfer has taken place.

        Charlene Van Maren

    1. Don Leyland

      Hi Chris. I have received 6 or 7 emails from this Warfleet press. No, I have not got s book yet. I just sent a reply saying I will pu 1or2 tomorrow, if I can, in Vancouver cheers. Don..

      Sent from my iPhone


  4. Hi again Don

    Disregard the previous message. If you come into Vancouver at some point we can meet and you will save the postage. Otherwise I can pop them in the mail and it will be about $10 to $15 for post. The book is $35. Let me know which you prefer.

    Chris Best

    1. Don Leyland

      Hi Chris. Yes, I can come into Vancouver any day. Tomorrow, Thursday. Where do I go to pu the book(s)? Best regards, Don.

      Sent from my iPhone


    1. Charlene Van Maren

      Charlene Van Maren
      57 Glen Eton Road
      Wasaga Beach, ON L9Z 1E7

      Do you need credit card number? You will need to include shipping in price.

      Thank you!

      1. Charlene Van Maren

        Hello Chris,

        I have not received my book yet. Have you been able to meet up with Sid yet to get it signed before sending it to me?

        Charlene Van Maren

        Sent from my iPhone

    1. Don Leyland

      Hi Chris. OK, I will be at Oakridge at 12:00 noon. What store/location would you like to meet me at? Please let me know. 778-998-1424. Thanks Chris. Best regards, Don.

      Sent from my iPhone


  5. Charlene Van Maren

    I ordered and paid for this book a couple of months ago. Can you please let me know an estimated date when I might receive it?

    Thank you,
    Charlene Van Maren

    1. Hi Jason

      Where are you located? Vancouver. Send me your address and I will let you know the shipping costs. The book is $35.

      Chris Best
      Warfleet Press

    1. Hi Pete

      The cost of the hard cover version is $34.95. Shipping outside BC is $20. Inside it is $15 and $10 around Metro Vancouver. Let me know your address. If you do online banking you can send me an Interac E transfer which is the quickest and I will drop it in the mail. Many thanks Chris Best

  6. Peggy Baadsvik

    Hi there, would you be good enough to send me order instructions please? Thanks very much, hope I’m in time to give as Christmas gift.

    1. Hi Peggy

      Lots of time. The book is $34.95 and is a hard cover version. Shipping outside BC is $20 and inside is $15. Metro Van area is $10. Send me your address. If you do online banking the easiest was is to send me an Interac E transfer. Let me know. Tks Chris Best

  7. Mr Best,
    Your book, An Insider’s Story of the Rise and Fall of Canadian Airlines, is right up my line as a lifetime aviation nut. Nostalgia is pretty high on my interest list too, I’m salivating with the thought of acquiring your book. This thread has some large gaps through the years and maybe your no longer selling the book given the time but I’d sure like to grab a copy. I’m in the US (Arizona) and buy books and videos from Amazon-UK as well as Canadian sellers. If you are able to provide me with a copy, great just pass along the information on cost and shipping charges. I would likely use a banks cashier check or money order as payment which would be in US currency, unless that would be a problem and you could advise me on how to make payment in Canadian dollars.
    Steve Western
    721 East Windsor Dr
    Gilbert, AZ 85296

    1. Hi Steve

      Just found your query about the Canadian Airlines book. The cost would be $34.95 Cdn for the book plus shipping so I will need to check at the Post office for shipping costs to Arizona but probably $20. Total $54.95 Cdn. Let me know if that works and I will double-check shipping costs. Tks Chris

  8. Gerald Laishley

    Hi Chris. Long time no see. John forwarded me the FB page and your message.
    We just went by the 50th anniversary of my departure from Richardsons – and I do remember your red hair!
    Coincidentally I’ll be meeting up with Sid and other 5MC alums on Friday in Richmond. He’s promised to bring us autographed copies of the book. I don’t think he plans on charging us…. (but it’ll be a write-off anyway). John is unable to attend as he lives in Sacramento CA. Drop me a line at the yahoo addy as I’m not on FB.
    Regards, G.

    1. Hi Gerald Yes, it is 50 years! I usually wear my hair short these days but this summer I grew it long in honor of my hippie summer of 1969. I wasn’t sure if you would even remember me. I was just out of high school and loved all the stories you guys told of the music scene in England and I think Hong Kong. What was the other Brits name who was a singer? He knew a lot of the early R&R singers in England. Nice guy! i toured England again in the summer of 68 and again in the summer of 70. Took a few years off and went to UBC and got my BMus and then taught school for a few years. But I had more fun during those days in the 60s playing locally and touring than teaching so I left it behind and became a writer/publisher. You will all enjoy Sid’s book. It is written from the heart and he sure loved the early days and the band and you guys! Cheers Chris

  9. Lynn Blackbourn

    hi Chris would love a book. I’m in Campbell River so would need to be shipped and if possible signed ?

    Thanks so much

    Ly. Blackbourn

    1. Hi Allen I just found your request. Shipping to Phoenix from Vancouver is $20 so just send me a cheque for $20 plus the sale price on the book of $29.95 so $50 to Warfleet Press 1038 East 63rd Avenue, Vancouver BC Canada When I receive your cheque and your address I will drop the book in the mail for you. Thanks Chris Best

  10. Mary Simpson

    I’ve just heard about Sid’s book recently. Are you still selling copies? If so, plse let me know how to get one. I worked at CP, CDN etc from 1969 until 1999. I first knew Sid when he was an Accounting clerk. Would love to hear the full story of what happened.

  11. Duane Kilburn

    Worked for CP from 1977 to 1987…used to socialise with Sid in the mid eighties. He was a good man, better than most……I would love to have a copy of a man who tried to do the right thing…………..Duey

  12. Duane Kilburn

    Hey Chris….I am sorry I have been so much trouble, I have had a busy last couple of days. I just checked your site a little late. you can call or text me 604-275-2534 as I am on top of my phone texts……sorry again and thanks……Duane

      1. Duane Kilburn

        WoW……!….looks like we both have busy schedules….I guess I need a little lead time, as I opened your note about 12 hours late…..I set up so I can get any messages from you alerted to my phone but I didn’t get a notification ? I am playing hockey today , so I won’t be free today….tomorrow’s Rembrance Day and I am not working. Friday between 10 and 1300 works for me.Saturday/Sunday early….I am up at 6……Cheers…..Duane

      2. Duane Kilburn

        Just got your latest message Chris….it was in my Junk folder….I’ll be checking my “junk mail” now….thx Duane

    1. Hi Duane

      Sorry for taking so long to get back to you but I can meet you at the foot of the Bridgeport Skytrain Station at 2pm tomorrow if that works. A little short notice but I have to be in town by 3pm.


      1. Duane Kilburn

        All good…I can meet you at 1:40 as I have a student pickup at 1:50….I will cirlcle the location in a small special needs School Bus…all yellow …..can’t miss it. …I will have cash in hand….how much ?…….Duane

  13. Harry Zanin

    I ordered this book on Amazon over a week ago and they notified me that Warfleet has not said when they plan to ship it to me. Any insight here? Thanks.

      1. Harry Zanin

        Hi Chris,
        Since Amazon has not charged my credit card yet I can certainly deal directly with you to purchase the book. I can easily cancel my order with Amazon. Please let me know how to proceed with the order through you. Thanks


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