THE news is extremely pleasing that movements are on foot to make some commercial use of the three Saunders‐Roe Princess flying boats. Sardonically enough there even seems to be developing some competition for the privilege of purchasing them from the Ministry of Supply with a view to putting them into operation. This sudden activity is said to be due, characteristically, to a ‘directive’ from no less a person than SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL himself that an operational future must be found for them. When a spur from such a source is supported by a statement that the chairman of British Overseas Airways Corporation, SIR MILES THOMAS, whose dreams have a habit of becoming realities, is interested we feel not unduly optimistic in saying that the future looks bright— at any rate taking a long view. Meanwhile MR E. C. MEKIE, chairman of Aquila Airways Ltd., which is we suppose the only company with recent experience of operating flying boats, has stated that on November 5 his company made a ‘firm offer’ to the Ministry of Supply to buy all three machines for ‘much more than one million pounds each’. This offer, he says, was made in response to an approach by the Ministry to all independent airlines. It is to be presumed that the B.O.A.C. interest has been aroused by a similar inquiry, which perhaps tends to confirm the rumour as to the august source of the renewed activity in regard to these boats, which had been supposed to be going to be relegated to trooping duties under the aegis of Transport Command.
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