Last Concorde seats sold out
rohit at ics.uci.edu
Mon Sep 22 10:20:49 PDT 2003
Gee, and I thought the tourist crush was bad enough in July! :-)
Last Concorde tickets selling fast
There are only 450 tickets left for the historic flights
Passengers have rushed to snap up tickets for the final flights on
Concorde before it is retired from service.
A third of the 450 tickets available were snapped up within 90 minutes
of going on sale at 0900 BST.
Flights between London and New York are sold out for 22 and 23 October
despite a price tag of £4,350 one-way and up to £8,292 for a return
Only a few tickets are left unsold for four other dates.
The supersonic jet will bid farewell in October with a round-Britain
tour and final flights to New York.
The iconic plane will cross the Atlantic 20 times during its last week
before the final commercial flight, BA001 to New York's JFK airport,
takes off from Heathrow on 23 October.
The last Air France Concorde flight took place on 31 May.
The airlines decided to ground the luxury service after 27 years
because of falling tickets sales coupled with increasing maintenance
A few high profile technical problems, including the crash near Paris
of Air France Concorde in 2000 in which 113 people died, have added to
passengers' reluctance to use it.
BA plans to carry up to 2,000 travellers between 18 and 24 October.
A BA spokeswoman said: "There has been huge demand and the few seats
available are mainly for flights originating in New York".
Martin George, BA's director of marketing, said more than 1,000
competition winners and special guests would also be enjoying the
farewell tour of the UK.
Ahead of the tickets going on sale, he said: "People have been calling
us all summer about buying a seat for the final week and we are
delighted that we can now begin offering them to those people on our
waiting lists and several hundred other customers.
The UK tour will see Concorde visit Birmingham, Belfast, Manchester,
Cardiff and Edinburgh before culminating in a series of three
supersonic flights from New York, Edinburgh and round the Bay of Biscay
on her final day.
Air France Concordes have been distributed to museums.
An auction of French Concorde memorabilia, including engines and a
nose-cone, will be held in Paris next month.
March 2 1969:
1969: Concorde flies for the first time
The supersonic airliner, Concorde, has made a "faultless" maiden flight.
The Anglo-French plane took off from Toulouse and was in the air for
just 27 minutes before the pilot made the decision to land.
The first pilot, Andre Turcat, said on his return to the airport:
"Finally the big bird flies, and I can say now that it flies pretty
The test flight reached 10,000ft (3,000m), but Concorde's speed never
rose above 300mph (480kph). The plane will eventually fly at a speed of
Mr Turcat, his co-pilot and two engineers taxied to the end of the
runway at about 1530GMT. Strong winds meant the test flight was in
doubt for much of the day.
Two previous test flights had to be abandoned because of poor weather
Concorde sped down the runway and there was a spontaneous burst of
applause from watching reporters and cameramen as the wheels lifted off
The noise from the four Olympus 593 engines, built jointly by the
Bristol division of Rolls Royce and the French Snecma organisation,
drowned out any noise from the crowd.
Less than half-an-hour later, the aircraft was brought back down to
earth using a braking parachute and reverse thrust.
The crew emerged at the top of the steps, led by Mr Turcat, who gave
the thumbs up signal with each hand.
The first British test pilot, Brian Trubshaw, who watched today's
flight from the news stand, said, "I was terribly impressed by the way
the whole flight was conducted. It was most professional and I would
like to congratulate Andre on the way he handled this performance."
The British government has so far invested £155m in the project. It is
hoped Concorde will begin flying commercially in 1973, when it will cut
the flying time between London and New York from seven hours 40 minutes
to three hours 25 minutes.
The maiden flight lasted just 27 minutes
Test pilot Brian Trubshaw (watching the flight): "I was terribly
On 9 April 1969, Brian Trubshaw made his first flight in the
British-built prototype. The 22 minute flight left from a test runway
at Filton near Bristol and landed at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.
Concorde completed its first supersonic flight on 1 October 1969.
There were serious doubts at government level about the commercial
viability of the Concorde project. Cabinet papers released under the 30
year rule warned the project would be a disaster, costing the UK £900m.
The first commercial flights took place on 21 January 1976 when British
Airways flew from London Heathrow to Bahrain and Air France from Paris
Concorde was launched at the height of the fuel crisis and a
combination of its heavy fuel consumption and small tanks, which meant
it could not enter the lucrative trans-Pacific market, made it
Concorde's image was further dented with the crash near Paris on 25
July 2000 in which 113 people died.
£17m was spent on safety improvements and the aircraft went back into
commercial service in November 2001.
In April 2003 British Airways and Air France announced the plane would
be retired due to falling passenger revenue and rising maintenance
Concorde's final commercial flight will be from Heathrow on 23 October
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