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CONCORDE – TEN YEARS ON FROM RETIREMENT AND SHE CAN STILL FLY!

10 years ago today, British Airways Concorde commercial operations flew for the final time marking the end of supersonic travel. But although all 7 of BA’s Concorde fleet have been resting at museums for the past decade – they still could be flying!

Just after 4pm on Friday 24th October 2003, three Concorde’s landed in procession at London Heathrow Airport marking the end of 27 years of supersonic Concorde services. Shortly after the retirement of Concorde, Save Concorde Group launched their campaign to see Concorde flying again in a heritage capacity which is still going strong. A decade on, renewed appeals by SCG to BA following BA’s pledge that “they are looking seriously at keeping one Concorde in a suitable condition for non-commercially flying” have resulted in a positive response from the airline.

Ben Lord, Chairman of the Save Concorde Group says “Today is the most significant milestone since Concorde’s retirement. Having renewed our appeal to British Airways that they follow through with their 2003 pledge, we are encouraged to have recently received some feedback from them which offers the opportunity for us to finally open discussions with them in the coming weeks. Fundamentally, there remains no technical reason whatsoever why Concorde cannot fly again as has been stated previously by our team of former BA and Air France Concorde engineers.”

Fred Finn, Honorary President of SCG and Guinness World Record holder for the most travelled person by air (including 718 flights on Concorde) continues “A decade since I witnessed the demise of a massive part of my life, I still miss Concorde terribly and remain positive that it’s not a case of if, but rather when, she will take to the skies again. It is where she belongs and it’s hard to believe that the world has continued to go backwards in terms of aviation travel over the past ten years. Furthermore, I remain incredibly proud of the work carried out by the SCG team where we all share the same vision in our interest for Concorde.”

When the campaign began in 2003, it was a mission into the unknown, however a decade on, SCG continues to challenge British Airways’ position on Concorde, maintaining that if the airline is not interested in flying Concorde in any capacity, then the group remain ready and waiting to hold discussions pertaining to the potential release of any of the Concorde airframes from British Airways’ ownership to an organisation that would be, and at that, have the capability to be. We have a number of people from within the airline and wider business community who are interested to be involved with, and financially back, such a project.

Ben Lord adds “On reflection, the only real reason for Concorde’s retirement was politics, and that remains the single obstacle standing in the way of her return to the skies. At the very outset of our campaign’s inception, we vowed to never give up the fight for Concorde campaigning again unless substantially proven otherwise and ten years on, we’re still here!”

Since 2003, British Airways has become just the same as any other airliner, and no longer possess the flagship that the status of Concorde brought to it. If a BA Concorde was to fly it would undoubtedly generate an incalculable amount of prestige and marketing kudos to the airline – after all, BA continues to make good use of Concorde in a marketing capacity both on it’s website, and through it’s TV commercials in recent years, which even today prompts calls to their reservation hotline where customers still want to book flights on Concorde!

Ultimately, SCG continues to stress that whilst efforts to return one Concorde to the skies goes on undiminished, the sight of a Concorde back in the skies will no doubt strengthen the resolve of the British people, to allow us to return one of the BA planes to flight and thus satisfy the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the British public – it really is a matter of when Concorde will fly again, rather than if.

Comments

November 9th, 2013 at 08:56 - Andrew Elliott said...

Keep going folks. You have all our support in the Elliott family. We look forward to seeing a Concorde flying again and confidently believe it’s only a matter of time.

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