Tong Louie, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of H.Y. Louie Co. Limited and London Drugs Limited, always gave freely of his time and money to help make his community of Vancouver a better place.

He was a trustee of St. Paul's Hospital, a member of its finance committee and Honorary Campaign Chairman of St. Paul's Hospital Foundation. He was a director of the Pacific Otolaryngology Foundation, the B.C. and Yukon Heart Foundation and a recipient of the Variety Club's "Golden Heart" Award for raising funds to aid the Children's Hospital.

He was a member of the Board of Governors of the University of British Columbia and the B.C. Business Council. UBC has awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Laws and Letters and in 1989, he was named to the Order of Canada. For his community leadership, the YMCA of Greater Vancouver named him 1988 Outstanding Community Volunteer Leader.

H.Y. Louie / London Drugs Family 

also in Airline Business


Chief pilot Mike Krall follows CEO Wynne Powell aboard London Air's new Challenger 604 jetliner

12-passenger jet gives luxury charter service its new global reach

First there was the drugstore cowboy. Now there is Air Drugstore, a.k.a as London Air Services.

The Vancouver-based chartered airline is cutting a swathe through the upmarket charter air business, ferrying the likes of golfing great Jesper Parnevik and movie star Al Pacino through the wild blue yonder to the destination of their choice.

The airline which operates out of the South Vancouver airport is now adding full global service to its network with the addition of a swank $26 million, 12-passenger Challenger 604 to a fleet that already has two Learjet 45s.

So what might you ask is the H.Y. Louie Group, established in consumer minds through its IGA supermarkets and London Drugs, doing in the aviation business?

Wynne Powell, president of London Drugs and the airline, keeps it simple: "We are making money and doing good business."

It's a long march from the humble beginnings of the small general store started here in 1903 by Hok Yat Louie, a Chinese immigrant.

Powell says the company has invested well over $50 million in its fleet.

The airline started two years ago when Powell said London executives found they needed to get places in a hurry to do business.

After problems with booking planes, Powell crunched the numbers and decided to buy his own aircraft.

London Air Services has never looked back and, apart from catering to his own executives, now counts the Hollywood crowd, sporting stars and others amongst its clientele.

He says since Sept. 11 the demand for charter aircraft has further intensified and London now boasts nine topline pilots, maintenance staff and its own security force, a retired RCMP officer.

Powell says purchasing the Challenger, which will be able to fly to Asia, non-stop to Europe and virtually everywhere else in the world is a "bit of a leap in entrepreneurial faith."

But he feels sure it will pay handsome dividends as well.

Its sumptuous interior is designed to provide the ultimate in travel comfort -- leather seats, couches that convert to beds and private attendant on request. There's even a putting green for those idle moments.

So how much does it all cost?

A return trip to Calgary on the Learjet it is about $5,400. For 12 people on the Challenger the same trip would be around $12,000.

The per mile charge is $12.75.

It makes huge business sense for business types and others who need to get somewhere fast, says Powell.  -  by Ashley Ford       The Province       8 March 2002



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