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Wednesday, 02 September 2015 16:05

JAX FAX Mourns the Passing of Founding Partner Charles Gatt Jr.

Written by  Douglas Cooke
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JAX FAX was saddened to learn of the passing of one of our founders, Charles (Charlie) Gatt Jr. on August 13, 2015. Charlie was  born in Sliema, Malta on August 7, 1934.

charlieCharlie, along with JAX FAX Founding Publisher Clif Cooke, started Jet Airtransport Exchange Inc. (JAX) in 1972 as a clearing house of information on worldwide charter flights for travel agents, headquartered in Stamford, CT. JAX also had a branch office in London. They purchased an IBM System 3 to operate a computer bank of aircraft space availability. According to IBM, JAX was the first company to link a System 3 across the North Atlantic.
Soon, travel agents began asking for a printout of the charter information, and JAX FAX Magazine was born. Charlie and Clif worked together until 1988 when Charlie decided to branch out and create a publication focused on destination travel specialists - Travel World News. Though TWN stopped publishing a few years ago, an online version and website remain, and Charlie continued to travel and promote until his passing. I am grateful to have had a final opportunity to chat with Charlie at the GBTA conference in Orlando, during late July.
Charlie’s career included working at Trans World Airways from 1962-1972 where he had many overseas assignments in Saudi Arabia, Greece, Thailand, and Lebanon as Director of IATA Affairs. In fact, Charlie and Clif met while working together for TWA in Saudi Arabia for 3 years during the late 60’s. Through those years, and for the next 20, our two families spent a lot of time together, both personally and professionally, creating
fond memories.  
Those who knew Charlie will remember his raspy voice and infectious smile. Charlie always had an opinion and wasn’t afraid to share it. He seemed to be everywhere at once, and it was rare to attend any conference, anywhere in the world, and not see Charlie working the show floor. His presence will be missed.
In his leisure time he loved sailing, a good beach, and following sports - Manchester United, USA Soccer, NY Mets, Villanova Basketball, and he was one of the founders of the New Canaan Lacrosse Association.
Charlie is survived by his longtime sweetheart Sallie, son Peter, daughter Heather, his sisters Dorothy and Margret, brother Frank, sister in law Julie, his nine grandchildren, and eleven nieces and nephews.
JAX FAX, and myself personally, wish to express our sincere respect and thanks to Charlie for his role in the early years of helping to shape JAX FAX into the leading travel trade publication it remains today. We would also like  to extend our sincere condolences to his family and industry friends for their loss.

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