Charles de Ricou – founder of The Macau Aerial Transport Company – biography

Charles De Riccou Photo During Military Service Indochina 1918, Chic Eather

Charles Edmond William de Ricou, Croix de Guerre, during military service, Indochina, 1918, Courtesy: HKHAA archives

“Macau Aerial Transport (MAT) was the first commercial airline company to be established in Macau or Hong Kong. [Founded by Charles de Ricou he] found it wise to set up MAT as a British company but public opinion in Macau was generally against having yet another ‘foreign’ enterprise in their midst. The Government of Macau, however, sensing the obvious merits of de Ricou’s proposed enterprise, decided to make him an offer…” (1)

Many thanks to IDJ for sending the following article.

This appreciative biography of de Ricou was published at Christmas 1962. It begins: “We are very sad to acknowledge the death on 21 December 1961 of our friend and colleague Charles Edmond William de Ricou, graduate of 1902, Croix de Guerre, 1914-1918 and Order of Christ of Portugal.

Born in Hong Kong on 1 November 1881, he attended college in Marseilles and Paris earning his bachelor’s degree (letters and sciences) and master’s degree in science…

He was:

  • Director of Electrical Utilities for the Hanoi and Haiphong (Tonkin) Electric Company from 1903 to 1906.
  • General Director of the Far East Electric Company (Macau Division) from 1906 to 1910
  • Chairman of the Board and General Manager of the Macau Electric Lighting Company from 1910 to 1934

He was Chairman of the Board and General Manager of the following companies:

  • Macau Ice and Cold Storage Company Ltd
  • Macau Aerial Transport Company Ltd
  • French Aeronautical Company of the Far East (Paris and Saigon)
  • BNC Automobile Company (Paris)
  • BNC Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Company (Paris)
  • Rolland-Pillain Automobile Company (Paris)
  • Cineco Company (Paris)

…after the [First World] war, he was an aviation pioneer who in 1919 with his own capital created the Macau Aerial Transport Company and then a few months later the French Aeromarine Company of the Far East to establish flying boat passenger services between Hong Kong, Macau and the coastal cities of southern China. Thus, in the centre of British power in the Far East, and before any other nation, the first commercial air service was established by a Frenchman. (2)

Charles De Ricou Biography, A Article Reprinted From Flux, The Magazine Of The Superior School Of Electricity, Christmas 1962

Charles De Ricou Biography, B Article Reprinted From Flux, The Magazine Of The Superior School Of Electricity, Christmas 1962

Sources:

  1. The Indhhk article,The Macau Aerial Transport Company – first commercial airline company to be established in Hong Kong or Macau 
  2. As noted at the end this article was reprinted from Flux, the magazine of the Superior School of Electricity, Paris , Christmas 1962.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Macau Air Transport Company (Hong Kong) Ltd – The One Cigarette Airline

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