air freight

Roy Bowles OBE, founder and chairman of air cargo specialist Roy Bowles Transport, died suddenly last Thursday after a short illness at the age of 84.

His son and joint managing director Stephen Bowles said Roy was being treated in hospital for a chest infection which developed into pneumonia. “He was sharp ‘til the end,” Stephen said, “and I was by his side.”

Roy Bowles was one of the pioneers of air freight haulage when he started moving cargo from Heathrow airport in his car in 1954. He sold the business in 1970 but got the name of the family firm back and started up again in 1975, running 250 vehicles at the company’s peak.

He officially retired in 1997 but Stephen said he still saw the management accounts and got involved in any major contract negotiations. “He was a fantastic sounding board,” he added.

Roy Bowles was a magistrate, a former chairman of the RHA and was awarded the OBE in 1990.

Details of his funeral will be announced shortly; email for details.