Bruce Dickinson Loses Pilot Side Job as UK Airline Folds
Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images
The Iron Maiden frontman had been moonlighting as a senior pilot and marketing director for Astraeus Airlines, but that company has gone belly up, having experienced "lower-than-expected levels of business" over the summer, the Daily Mail reports. The company also failed to secure sufficient contracts for the coming winter and was hit with "extremely bad luck" on the technical front.
Dickinson learned of the airline's demise while flying 250 vacationers home to Manchester, England, from Saudi Arabia. Such routes were typical for Astraeus, which would lease jets to major carriers and often ferried British travelers home from countries in turmoil.
"It is small comfort to those affected and impacted, I realise, but Astraeus comprised a fantastic team who did a fantastic job -- quite possibly the best team in their aviation business sector," CEO Hugh Parry said.
Dickinson called on Astraeus in 2008 when he needed a plane to fly Maiden around the world on the 'Somewhere Back in Time' tour. Piloting a Boeing 757 dubbed 'Ed Force One' -- a reference to the enduring group's mascot, Eddie -- the heavy metal legend flew his bandmates and crew to more than 30 countries.
"The reliability was superb, and the outcome exceeded the band's wildest expectations," Dickinson said. "A unique airline, for a unique experience. Astraeus Airlines made it happen!"