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What I Did This Summer: Started an Airline

Plan to stay up for Letterman tomorrow night or at least set your Tivo. Not just to hear the infectious smoothness of the Eels, but to see Martin Halstead.

Following the flight paths of Sir Richard Branson and David Neeleman, the 18-year-old Brit is launching his own airline, alphaOne airways. Halstead, whose first business — at 16 — was designing flight simulation software, has partnered with a plane operator in his hometown of Oxford to provide service between Oxford and Cambridge. It’s a common route for academics that isn’t connected by rail service and hasn’t had regular flights since the 1930s.

If the airline takes off — no small if, of course — maybe Halstead will get around to what most teenagers his age consider a major accomplishment: flying the coop. “My parents were gobsmacked at first, but now they see it’s a serious business propsition, not just a whim,” he told the BBC.

I confess, I’m a little gobsmacked myself.

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