Pan Am, B.E.A**; T.W.A*** - these are all acronyms from a bygone
age. A time when Jason King, James Bond or Simon Templar would be
seen boarding a flight for Geneva, Rome or Tangiers - certainly
somewhere exotic. A time when air travel was exciting and
aspirational and even coined a new term - The Jet Set.
Although these airlines have long been confined to the departure
lounge of history, their logos and marques live on. This is as a
result of the efforts of pilot and aviation enthusiast Patrick
Nandu, who has put out a range of Retro style Airline Bags. These
faithfully reproduce the look and feel of the must-have accessories
that would have been provided to regular passengers and which were
used as hand luggage on flights with these airlines. In fact, The
Beatles thought these Airline Bags were so cool they even had some
made with B.E.A.T.L.E.S. inscribed on them.
We caught up with Patrick on his busy globe-trotting schedule and
asked him a few questions about his passion for Retro Airline Bags
which he has now turned into a thriving business...
Digger: Can you please tell us about your background?
Patrick: As far back as I can remember Iíve always and only
ever been interested in Aviation. Where it began I have no idea as
noone in my family to my knowledge has ever been involved in this
area. So back in 1993 at the tender age of eighteen I obtained my
Private Pilot's Licence from Oxford Aviation Academy in the UK.
Whilst enjoying the privileges of flying light aircraft for fun I
decided to take it a step further and make it my profession, so
after leaving University I went on to gain my Commercial Pilot's
Licence from Flightsafety Academy in the USA. As with every
newly-qualified Pilot, it was then off to do some time building and
experience, which was mainly done in the USA and eventually the
Caribbean. I flew a mixture of light single engine and multi-engined
aircraft. I did this for a number of years, after which I went on to
qualify on the technologically advanced Airbus 320, which I am
Digger: What inspired you to produce these Retro Airline Bags?
Patrick: The Retro bags idea came to me whilst I was doing a
clear-out at home. I came across some old original bags my father
had collected from his globetrotting days, and couldnít believe he
hadnít re-used them. Some were still in good condition and I
thought in this day and age, looked quite cool and retro. I began to
use them on my travels to carry documents like tickets, passport,
iPod, and shaving equipment. A lot of people approached me and asked
where I had purchased them from, and were quite disappointed to find
that they were simply retrieved from my attic. It became so frequent
that the idea to reproduce them was a no-brainer. With technology
being so advanced now, the quality of the bags are so much better
whilst maintaining an authentic look, and the strength now enables
you to even carry a laptop without the shoulder strap snapping.
Digger: How did you achieve such an authentic-looking product?
Patrick: Not all the bags sold on retro-jet are my reproductions, however
replicating them requires a bit of investigation, but being in the
possession of the original examples as a reference does help. The
major difficulty however is ensuring that the copyrights and patents
Digger: What marques are available, where can people obtain them and
what sort of price do they go for?
Patrick: I am currently only selling them online on my website www.retro-jet.com and will continue to sell it this way to
individuals. All the bags are priced at £29.99.
Digger: Are there any other Retro Airline Bags planned for the
Patrick: Yes, I eventually plan to cover other logos such as
BOAC, BEA, BCAL, UTA, Sabena, Laker Airways, Eastern, and CP
etc.., but all this takes a little while. I also will expand from
just the bags to other items which I believe will prove to be
Digger: What sort of people buy your Retro Airline Bags?
Patrick: The audience is very diverse, but I would say itís
predominantly aviation enthusiasts, however there has been an
upsurge of interest from a more generic retro audience.
4th Floor Albany House
324/326 Regent Street
London W1B 3HH
Cell: + 44 (0) 7967 383 702
British Overseas Airways Corporation
** British European Airways
*** Trans World Airways