Major Norman Ricketts and 
Captain Jake Jacobs welcoming 
Film Star Brigitte Bardot aboard, 
seconded by Anneke Hoffman Placide, 
Elisabeth Gustavsson Gyllman and 
Nick Mennon, Nassau Station 
Major Norman Ricketts receiving the Order 
of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II, 
for commendable contribution in development 
of Trade and Tourism of the Commonwealth.

In 1968, Major Norman Ricketts was recognized as the only man in the world to found and operate two scheduled Atlantic Jet airlines.

The first was International Air Bahama (Airline Code: IW and call sign: Airbahama) and the second International Caribbean Airways (Airline Code: IQ and call sign: Caribjet). He negotiated the route rights himself and was the pioneer of the virtual airline concept.

Henry Hilderman in memoriam
Everett Terry, Henry Hilderman,
Emmett Hays and Larry Swartz

High Commissioner

ENGLAND - Governor General Sir
Arthur and Lady Foulkes stand outside
Buckingham Palace in London, England

Wednesday, November 3, 2010, where
he was invested by Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II. Sir Arthur
received the GCMG. Major Norman
Ricketts, OBE, Air Bahama
founder, attended

J D Stone in memoriam

JD surrounded by Betty Frieders Kunziger, Mia McCreery Topping, Gunilla Key-Crawford, on the left, Gudrun Johansson Federico and Margie Ave Torres on the right side.

Inaugural flight from Luxembourg to Bahamas

Inauguration flight from
Nassau International Airport Bahamas
to Findel Airport Luxembourg on July 20, 1968.

On photo from left to right:
  • Nassau Station Manager Nick Mennon
  • Major Norman Ricketts
  • Helene Lassiter-Brownson
  • Elisabeth Gustavsson Gyllman
  • Airport Official
  • Nettie Miller
  • Captain John "Jake" Jacobs
  • Gunilla Kuylenstierna (Key) Crawford
  • Findel Airport Official
  • Anna Eriksson
  • Sylvia King and
  • Anette Englund Martins

    Gudrun Johansson Federico, 
    Anneke Hoffman Placide, 
    Margie Ave Torres, Anette 
    Englund Martins, Anna Eriksson, 
    Nick Mennon and Tom Gannon. 
    From top down on stairs 
    Elisabeth Gustavsson Gyllman, 
    Helene Falk Brownson, Carin 
    Bergquist Skoglund and Gunilla 
    Hammar Safstrom.
    Small countries, like the Bahamas, owned air 
    rights and could grant licenses. 

    Map over Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas. New providence is one of 700 islands in the Bahamian Archipelago.

    These could be of great economic benefit but the cost of forming and maintaining their own carrier was prohibitive. In 1966 Norman Ricketts pioneered a solution – the virtual airline – and so IAB was founded and licensed as a Bahamian International Air Carrier. The concept was the use of outsourcing to stabilize direct costs and ensure a swift start to reliable operations and a greater chance of achieving economic success.

    Jake in memoriam
    John "Jake Jacobs, Don Torres, Joan Armaly and unknown. Elisabeth in engine photo.

    To adopt the idea it required the authorities in the Bahamas and elsewhere to accept this pioneering innovation. Now this is acceptable practice in world aviation circles.

    The start of IAB was very simple. In 1965 Sir Robert Neville, a General and the former Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Bahamas, was visiting the Bahamas in the company of Norman Ricketts. The gentlemen had both served in the Royal Marines and were old friends. Sir Neville wanted to help the Bahamas΄ tourism progress so he persuaded Norman Ricketts to start an airline with a direct line to Europe.

    So Norman Ricketts founded International Air Bahama – IAB.

    Adela Adderley Osterloh, Gun Vidal
    and Angelina van Oortmarssen

    1965 International Air Bahama formed as a 
    company and Norman Ricketts became the sole owner.

    1966-7 Licenses issued both by the Bahamas and Luxembourg to operate a scheduled service – Nassau – Luxembourg – Nassau.

    Norman Ricketts negotiated all the route rights with respective governments and from his private funds financed the purchase of a new DC-8 stretch aircraft from Douglas. Which was later changed into a lend – lease arrangement with Executive Jet Aviation using a new 707 – 320 c Boeing registered H525 and regulated by the US FAA (Federal Aviation Agency).

    1968 Agreement signed between International Air Bahama and Executive Jet Aviation to operate the route under a virtual undertaking which left all management under Norman Ricketts as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

    Norman Ricketts owned all the shares in the controlling company. When he was ready with the structure in place he was approached by several contenders who wanted to engage with him in the airline venture.

    Among them was Steedman Hinckley of Overseas National Airways, a former US marine officer. Norman Ricketts, himself a British Royal Marines Commando Officer, then was approached by Executive Jet Aviation who made the best offer.

    International Air Bahama Cockpit Crew

    Norman Ricketts was much taken with the Company Chairman, General Curtis Lesslays who once commanded the US Strategic Air Command and offered the finest air crews.

    Bill McDonald in memoriam

    Tex Davis, Bill McDonald, Gunilla Kay Crawford, JD Stone and Gus Bacon.

    Richard Rogers in memoriam

    Will Rogers, Charlie Hinton,
    Tex Davis and Richard Rogers.

    JD Stone and Don Torres.

    Jack Wagner, Emmett Hays and unknown.

    Also Norman Ricketts struck up an excellent rapport with Major – General Perry Hoisington* who ran Executive Jet Aviation in Switzerland. The actual agreement was signed in Zurich.
    * 1970 - Elizabeth Hoisington was sworn in as a brigadier general in the U.S. Army, making her and her brother, General Perry Hoisington, the first brother and sister generals in the army.
    In 1970 Executive Jet Aviation fell faul of the agreement and Norman Ricketts took them to the Bahamas Supreme Court and an out of court settlement was reached.

    Both parties agreed to sell the airline to Hekla Holdings, an associate of Icelandic Airlines, who continued the service which had been obtained.

    At the request of the Prime Minister of Barbados Norman Ricketts founded ICA – International Caribbean Airways which flew to London – Luxembourg – Montreal and Washington.

    International Air Bahama Cockpit Crew

    Chief Hostess Nettie Miller was provided to International Air Bahama by Executive Jet Aviation and Norman Ricketts sent her to Amsterdam and Sweden to recruit Cabin Staff for training by Aer Lingus in Dublin.

    Gus Bacon and Monty Chumly

    Claudine Hastert Ferron, Elisabeth,
    Anette, Connie, Sophia van΄t Hof v d
    Heuvel and Eva Thelning Marco.

    Crew lodgings in Nassau Bahamas - Coral Harbour Yacht Harbour - Hotel & Villas