Bruce Dickinson said the sudden end of his career as a commercial pilot was “distressing” and helped lead to creating his own aviation business.
The Iron Maiden singer was employed by charter service Astraeus until the company’s collapse, and went on to found Cardiff Aviation, which was reorganized as Caerdav after teething troubles in its early years.
“Because I loved flying, I was working for a company which had airplanes for hire, and I was a captain there for several years,” Dickinson told Wales Online in a recent interview. “The company went bust in 201, and I had never been in a company that had gone bust before.”
He added that “because of the other things I do, it wasn’t as though I was out on my ear and couldn’t afford the price of a meat pie, but it was really distressing to see. We had close on 400 employees and to see all those people, all of that training and all of that camaraderie all just vanish overnight, I thought, ‘I never want to do that again.’”
Soon afterward, the opportunity to start his own firm arose. “When it was known as Cardiff Aviation, I think it’s fair to say it had a few false starts,” he reflected. “Two years ago we had to completely reorganize the company; we changed the name and completely rebranded it. Much of the workforce stayed the same and they have been fantastic, but I went from being one-third shareholder to 100 percent shareholder.”
Dickinson said the most “crucial thing” with being the boss is to “always communicate as a team.” “It’s about running past ideas and representing the company as a chairman should do,” he explained. “You rely on a team and you just can’t do it on your own. … It’s the same with Iron Maiden. We have a great team, so when, as a band, we’re thinking of doing music, we’re not worrying about, ‘Who’s going to rent the truck?’ or ‘Who’s going to sort out the permits?’ We have a fantastic team who does that, and we do the music.”
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