Teenager Starts An Airline In U.K.

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Martin Halstead has loved aviation since his first flight at age 6, and now that he's 19, he has his own airline. "I was joking with a friend that as my chances of getting a job in the airline industry were almost nil, I might as well start my own airline," he said. The regional carrier, Alpha One, flew for the first time last Monday, and will start twice-a-day trips between Southampton and the Isle of Man later this month. So far the airline consists of one 18-seat BAE Jetstream 31, with plans to lease another one. Halstead will work as a pilot as well as CEO, and says he has lots of experienced staffers on his team to make up for his own lack of years ... but he's relying largely on his own financing skills. He financed the start-up after selling off a flight-simulator software company he started at age 15. He's been dubbed the "Baby Branson" in the British press, and says he is honored by the comparison ... but he intends to be not the "next" Richard Branson, but the first Martin Halstead.