Starrion From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1139 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2289 times:
Concorde is gone. Airbus doesn"t want the continuing MX costs of supporting a 10 plane fleet, and won't continue support. As MX intensive as it was, it's a miracle it lasted this long. BA and AF have no choice. You can always see them in a museum.
Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2261 times:
Concorde is an uneconomical, technically outdated aircraft.
It's as old as 747-200s which are also being quickly retired yet I hear noone screaming bloody murder about that.
AF wanted to get rid of them years ago because they lost money on every flight.
BA the same since about last year.
Airbus was loosing money on the maintenance contracts, especially after AF retired theirs they'd have to raise prices so steeply that alone would have driven BA over the edge.
IMO they should never have upgraded them after the Paris crash but retired them permanently there and then. The only reason the airlines spent millions of Euros on them at that time (all lost) was status, something they could not really afford to do.
If you'd wanted them so badly you should have flown them a lot more in the past, so the airlines would continue to make a profit on them.
You didn't so they didn't and being companies not charities they got rid of them.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13370 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 2173 times:
Hate to break it to you Jwenting (will we ever see a positive post from you on anything?) but the highest hrs of any Concorde is BA aircraft G-BOAD, with 23394 hrs, care to find any airliner of similar age that has relatively so few hrs?
BA and AF were absolutely right to go for the return to flight, if it was so bad for AF before, then why did they? Granted they never made anything like the money BA's did, but that was reflected in their much lower utilization.
They did not foresee Sept 11th, but then who did? By then the programme was far too advanced to abandon it, anyway, in the last 6 months BA Concorde was making £5 million per week, so we've paid all that cost back many times over.
Concorde will be outdated when a true successor (if it happens) is built and put into service, not before.
However, you are right about AF pulling out making the end inevitable, however some of that was due to politics (US boycott), AF's flying rate post relaunch was not much less than before 2000.
That's where BA fell down, saving money internally, (not saving the company anything as no one lost their jobs when Concore lost half the engineering staff last year, they were redeployed to cover for mismanagement elsewhere in Engineering), all that did was make it impossible to greatly increase services after the retirement announcement, which we could easily have filled, we could have made double what we did this past 6 months, cash that BA could well use.
Seeing how almost instantly offers on services sold out proves this, not tapping the charter market again was also a short sighted move, maybe you have to be over here to see the vast goodwill that the aircraft brought to BA, why do you think Branson tried to muscle in on it all?
However, now it's gone I've yet to hear anyone say "now they've retired Concorde I'll fly BA", sadly the opposite is what you hear and read, by people who seem to have forgotten who retired it first.
Frankly, if we'd had the management in Engineering we had just a few years ago, Airbus would have not have been let off the hook so easily, while AF pulling out certainly made the end inevitable, we've always known that to be the case, it's a pretty poor show when Airbus cannot be pressured to provide support to when BA wanted, April 2004 or preferably. October 2004.
(We were selling seats on Concorde BGI flights for this winter and buying parts for C checks on OAF and OAD right up to April).
If a major airline like BA (and potential Airbus future customer) has not got the clout to ask this small thing, god knows how we'll be screwed over with future airliner contracts.
Still, what do you expect when you've an Engineering Management who can blow £100 million on an IT system that does not work, (delayed three times, no schedule for it's implementation now after a disastrous trial run on the ATR fleet), half of that sum would have given us another year on Concorde, paying what Airbus said was required with money over to return another aircraft to flight.
At the rate we were making money on Concorde in the past 6 months 11 weeks into this additional year we'd start to make money again from that £50 million, as I've said, we could have greatly increased that £5 million per week figure with more services, scheduled and chartered, many Concorde flights since April have been overbooked.
BA will survive without Concorde yes, whether like so many other large UK companies mismanagement makes us into a small company one day soon, we'll have to wait and see.