gordonroxburgh
Posts: 519
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2000 8:36 pm

Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 4:17 am

Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson said on Thursday his airline was interested in buying British Airways' doomed Concorde fleet, but would offer just £1 (?1.5, $1.6).




Branson, the king of publicity stunts, said in a statement he would be asking BA for the full operation figures for its fleet of seven Concorde.

"Since the British Airways' announcement this morning we have been flooded with calls from the public, including BA staff, asking us to see if we can keep Concorde flying," said Branson.

"When the Conservative government gave British Airways Concorde for £1 they said that if another British company ever wanted to operate it they could.

"If having examined the figures Virgin Atlantic, with its lower cost base, believes it can make a success of it we will be asking British Airways to give us the planes for the same price that they were given them for (£1) together with the slots and other facilities that they use.

"This might come to nothing but I believe that every effort should be made to keep Concorde flying as it is such an important symbol of British innovation," he added.

Air France and British Airways said on Thursday Concorde would stop flying by the end of October at the latest after more than quarter of a century as a transatlantic shuttle for the rich and privileged.

The cost of developing the supersonic passenger jet were borne by the British and French governments and only BA and Air France - at the time both state-run - opted to buy the hugely expensive aircraft.

BA indicated that it wanted to see its Concordes put on display to the public rather than going to rival carriers, but the thought of being able to give the aircraft away and not have to fund the £84Million write-off costs may sound a very good deal for the cash strapped airline.

Source Concordesst.com / News24.com
 
aamd11
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 4:23 am

Personally, as much as i'd love to see them flying, they should be put to rest when BA and AF quit.

Just my opinion.

A^A MD-11
 
mt99
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 4:23 am

Branson is indeed a master of publicity, even if it comes to nothing his name brand will be heard by many many people.. Its the kind of publicty tou juat cant buy. Imagine the posibilities with a a Supersonic Virgin!!!
Step into my office, baby
 
Leezyjet
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 4:28 am

GO RIKKY  Big thumbs up

I knew that model existed but thats the first picture I have seen of it !.

It would be fantastic if he could pull this one off.

Gordon - you planning on organising to charter one to do some flights ?. I'm sure they would be plenty of interest just from this site alone.

Any idea's on the cost ?.

You could Charter the a/c then divide the cost of the charter buy 100 seats and add £100-£200 onto the resulting cost to cover time and expenses - they would sell like hot cakes.

If you seriously consider it, e-mail me - I'd love to help.

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
bmi330
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 4:43 am

I love Richard Banson if he pulls this of VS for ever baby! We should all sign a potion backing him this needs to be done. Good old virgin to the rescue.
 
planespotterx
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 4:53 am

I personally think airlines have been waiting to buy the concorde for a long time, but waited until BA/AF didnt get any profit from them, then theyd buy it for half the price, i also heard Southwest might be thinking of buying one or two aircraft, so its early days, but exiting none the less..
Its not the fall that kills u, its the sudden stop at the end..
 
StarFlyer
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 4:55 am

How SPECTACULAR would that be! I really really hope this goes through!
Yours truly - StarFlyer
 
flynavy
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 5:01 am

What possible use would SOUTHWEST have for the Concorde? She's quite noisy, you know, and Southwest's network doesn't call for supersonic speeds. Keep on dreamin'.
Change is: one airline, six continents!
 
dc-10 levo
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 5:06 am

I agree, it wouldn't be right, (even though I want them to keep flying) if Virgin or anyone else used them. BA + AF must reconsider!

DC-10
 
bmi330
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 5:16 am

Dosent matter who flies it long as its still doing what its meant to do be such a pioner and before its time there is still no match for her. The is BA and there is also other ways.
 
Ikarus
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 5:19 am

As I said in another post yesterday, if only Branson made a genuine offer, not a 1-pound-publicity-stunt-insult....

Let's face it, BA would see Aeroflot take over their Concorde fleet rather than giving one of them to Branson.

I'm all for it. But he should be willing to go all the way, and not just all the way of an hot-air-filled bubble of his own publicity...

Regards

Ikarus

PS: Now where can I buy that model?
 
dc-10 levo
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 5:19 am

I can't believe how sad I feel. I mean it's only a plane but it means so much. Like when I used to go down to LHR, I only wanted to go just to see Concorde, it was the highlight of the day. I can't believe it's going. Someone must save them!

DC-10
 
bmi330
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 5:34 am

Yeah just watch some footage on the TV about her she cant end in this way. If you ask me everything possible should be done to find her a new owner. This is an absolute national travesty hope BA and AF pay for what they are doing its like selling the crown Jules.

The only people that will be happy are Green Peace in my opinion she should be exclude from Bermuda 2 so anyone can fly her LHR-JFK. She should also be exempted from fuel tax and landing fees and just general treated like the national treasure she is.
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 6:16 am

It's unlikely to happen but it would simply be awesome if Sir Richard did indeed buy the Concorde from BA, just imagine that! Big grin It would truly be a "silver dream machine"!
In Arsene we trust!!
 
bmi330
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 6:28 am

If he dose buy them it will be absolute exsticy and Virgin Atlantic would be truley our national carrier. Love them to show AF and BA up. They might do the CDG-JFK flight as well.
 
Leezyjet
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 6:32 am

Just a thought - would the silver paint be ok in supercruise ??? or would it have to remain white ???

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
sllevin
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 6:38 am

Branson's offer is legit. BA didn't pay money for Concorde, so why should Virgin pay BA for the airframes?

It would be wonderful if Virgin kept Concorde flying!

Steve
 
bmi330
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 7:10 am

Can the government or someone not step in to keep this histrorical aircraft going like stick a compulsory sell order or something on BA. Everything possible should be done to keep her flying even boucought BA anything.

you have got to keep the faith and I believe in Mr Branson
 
manzoori
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 7:11 am

It's alright folks, Richard's made the deal already...


Cheers

Rez
 Wink/being sarcastic
Flightlineimages DOT Com Photographer & Web Editor. RR Turbines Specialist
 
jmc757
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 7:22 am

Looks nice  Big thumbs up Don't get me wrong, I'd love this to happen, but it isn't. The best chance Branson has got of getting SSC is to go to duxford in the early hours with some wire cutters and a tug! Sorry, but its true. BA would rather retire them than give Branson the upper hand  Sad

jmc757 Big thumbs up
 
BD1959
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 7:26 am

I'm afraid I'm in agreement with most here: would love to see the old girl continue to "grace" our skies, but I'm afraid that this is just another shot by Branson across the BA bows. Of course BA would not open their books and then hand over the birds and the slots - what would the slots alone be worth at LHR? - for a measely quid. Please, please BA prove me wrong - and call his buff! Mr Branson would have to use full reverse thrust to back-peddle.

I feel as though this beautiful lady and I go back a long way: we grew up together and I vaguely remember her first appearance at Farnborough. My Australian wife used to rush out of our flat in Teddington each morning (when they were using 9R) to wave her off when we were in London in '96.

Are there any museums out there who could seriously afford to keep at least one of these old ladies flying?

God's speed, speedbird.

BD1959
 
bmi330
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:03 am

BA Best move would actually be selling concord to virgin in the publicity stakes. If and when the big handover came hafe if not all the world's media will cover the big hand over. The Devil sorry Mr Edington could say something along the lines of BA feels so privileged and honored to have operated the airplane for 27 years they would prefer to see it live on with someone else rather than kill her operational days just because they find her un economical to fly should not signal her end. As she is such a marvel of an aircraft they whish to make sure she has as bright a future as possible because BA fells such affection for her as well as most of the general public. They are willing to do this even though VS is there UK rival on LHR-USA. BA Would come out very good in this and they aren't acutely losing out to VS as concord is such a niche market and BA would not have anything to compete with and if it is as uneconmical as BA say and VS get egg on there face its them that look bad for ending the flying life of the ledgend that is concord early. And at the worst BA is only going to lose 100 customers that don't make them any money anyways apparently as the outgoings are now higher than ticket sales.
 
dan2002
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:18 am

WTF!!!, SOUTHWEST interested in a CONCORDE can someone elaborate or am i just dreaming?
A guy asks 'What's Punk?'. I kick over a trash can and its punk. He knocks over a trash can and its trendy.
 
bmi330
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:36 am

Maybe there owner just feels the same as all us about concord and wants to keep her flying. Its not about who flys her as long as she keeps flying.
 
gkirk
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:42 am

Concorde forever!!!!!!!!!!!
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
QANTASforever
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 9:40 am

Expect a few concordes to go off to airlines with a lot of money (gov owned), or to rediculously rich people wanting a quick way to travel around.

QANTASFOREVER
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
Beno
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 9:59 am

I think BA will keep the concorde running at a loss rather than see her turn Virgin.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 10:17 am

Actually, I think VS could actually make a profit on the Concorde, mostly because Branson would actually bother to properly market the plane to its intended customer base and increase patronage.

I do think, however, that VS will likely keep a white fuselage livery due to heat dissipation reasons; only the tail will have the distinctive red VS logo.

I will not be surprised that VS will make a bid for BA's Concorde fleet later this year.
 
Canadian747
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 11:24 am

Lets Keep Conorde Flying Forever cause she was a plane built before her time and I love her  Smile

Also if I would own my own airline that would be the attitude that I would have to attract more Pax to my Airline.

Canadian747
 
N754PR
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:05 pm

Remember the Dark red tail would not be possible because of the heat.
Bush, your a sad, sad man.
 
Ikarus
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 5:01 pm

N754pr: So the Singapore Airlines & Pepsi liveries never went supersonic?


Anyways. I only now noticed that Branson is actually asking for the slots as well as Concorde for a pound. Cheeky bugger, no chance in hell....
 
vr-hkg
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 5:08 pm

Just like Branson to seek a little free publicity - where'd you hear that?

No way BA would ever let the Concorde go to a competitor, particularly Branson. They'd pay a mint to scrap them all before they'd let that happen.
 
Jmc777
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 7:48 pm

I seem to remember a few years back, that Richard Branson was very seriously thinking of operating one of AF concordes in his own livery. He was also going to remove 40 seats and redesign the interior so he could offer "Glamour Class" or something like that.

Apparently got the go ahead from AF but BA balked at the deal as they jointly own the rights to the special paint used on concorde and refused to let Branson have it.

Possible I dreamt the above, but I am positive I heard it a couple of years ago. Anyone else remember?
 
trintocan
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:12 pm

Sad to say, there is no way that any other airline would ever buy Concorde. To begin with, the entire set up of pilots, maintenance and the like would need to be taken over - £1 per frame can never buy that! Furthermore, the joint BA and AF statement about the retirement tends to lend credence to the belief that the plane will be gone forever. The overall prestige gained by having been the only 2 operators of the type will lead them to prevent others getting their hands on them.

Sad but true. Concorde will soon live only in our hearts.

TrintoCan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
David L
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:29 pm

I'm sure one of our resident Concorde experts here can clarify but wasn't it just the last few aircraft that were purchased for £1. Didn't the first ones cost more?
 
trintocan
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:39 pm

David L you are right - I think it was only the last 4 airframes which were sold for £1 to BA and 1 FFR to AF in 1980 after SQ (I think) had cancelled its order and those planes had been completed.

TrintoCan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
VgnAtl747
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 9:07 pm

I don't think it would ever happen. But it would certainly be cool. I just don't see BA just "giving up" the concorde. I think Branson would have to offer a large amount of money for the idea to even be considered by BA.

Mike
VSFan.org
Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
 
srbmod
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 3:23 am

British Airways has already said they will not be selling their Concordes to any airline, and the a/c are destined to become museum pieces. Air France hasn't come out and said that their a/c are up for sale or not, but if they do sell them, look to see Virgin being the first in line for them. Virgin Atlantic just feels right in becoming the new operator of Concorde if Air France does indeed offer them for sale, unless some Middle Eastern Prince or the Sultan of Brunei offer a fair price for them.
 
silverfox
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 3:39 am

I agree, it should still fly, and by whoever wants to do it.
If the great bearded one has looked into this whereby they are obliged to sell, then go for it

 
captaingomes
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 4:05 am

I'd love to hear GDB's comments concerning this.

I too would love to see VS operate the Concorde, but there are too many variables. He might be able to swing the price per airframe, but the costs of everything else, from slots, infrastructure, etc, would be enourmous, and BA would not just give those away. I could see BA asking much more for everything else than it's worth, just to make it uneconomical for VS to consider this option.

However, if Branson could swing this deal, there would be many benefits. The prestige alone would give VS more recognition, and have an effect on their sales of other premium products. Many companies do this, for example in the automotive industry, where they come out with flagship vehicles where they don't make money on, but it increases showroom traffic, and gives a higher image, and this consequent image makes it easier to upsell their other products.

The airline industry is a different matter, at least in these times, as upscale travel has taken a huge hit.

By the way, how is VS doing these days? Aren't they losing lots of money? They would have to be making decent profits to even consider such a risky move. If they can do it, all the power to them!
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
Skymonster
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:54 am

I'm sure that this is just another publicity stunt from Dicky B. Nice idea, appeals to the public's desire to keep Concorde flying, gets their sympathy for Virgin Atlantic trying to save a national icon, but at the end of the day he knows he'll be thwarted by "the evil BA" - thank goodness as far as Virgin is concerned really, because who'd want Concorde from a commercial point of view?

Having said that, operating Concorde would have huge publicity and prestige benefits for Virgin Atlantic, right up to the point when, God forbid, another accident happened after which Virgin would be history. They would not be able to survive what BA and AF have been through, and therefore for Virgin there's too much at stake here. Branson doesn't really want Concorde and he know's he's never going to get it, but its useful for him right now to say he'd like it.

Andy
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
Benny 26
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:10 am

Can we all stick to the point of the question!!!
"Virgin to the rescue for concorde"

Oh Purlease! If anyone out there, who really knows the truth about the costs of running the dearly beloved Concorde and wants to enlighten Dick(head) Branson, feel free to email him. Then again, don't. Watch him sink.
 
usair330
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 11:40 am

I think it would be pretty cool to see the Concorde flying in Virgin colors. But the history of the Concorde is British Airways and Air France and it should remain that way.

P.S How can you turn a plane that has already been used into a Virgin? I think the Concorde has some sins to confess.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 1:46 pm

I think VS--with help from its 49% shareholder SQ--should try to buy up to 6-8 Concordes and use them on both LHR-JFK and LHR-IAD routes.

People are forgetting that due to the sheer size of BA, they're not going to be able to justify operating Concorde and also BA may not have the resources produce specific marketing to cater to premium travellers that use this plane.

If VS does succeed to getting a Concorde fleet, I expect them to do the following:

1. Completely revamp the interior and reduce the seat capacity from 100 to 80-85 seats, so passengers will enjoy roomier seating (the seating pitch now on the Concorde is about the same as what you get on AA's roomer Economy class seating, for gosh sakes!).

2. The planes will still be painted white, but you'll see the Virgin Atlantic name on the upper fuselage, a small version of the "Flying Lady" symbol on the upper front fuselage, and the Virgin logo on the tail with the Virgin name in red on a white-painted tail. The mostly-white livery is for heat dissipation reasons.

3. VS will agressively market Concorde service to premium class passengers and famous celebrities; VS might even offer extra-privacy areas in their airport lounges at LHR, JFK and IAD so they can handle famous people.

4. Because Concorde's development costs have long been paid off and the service infrastructure is already in place, VS could actually lower the price of Concorde fare to under US$4,000 one way, instead of the US$6,000 one way fare now charged by BA and AF.
 
jhooper
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 4:26 pm

Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 6:20 pm

Because Concorde's development costs have long been paid off and the service infrastructure is already in place, VS could actually lower the price of Concorde fare to under US$4,000 one way, instead of the US$6,000 one way fare now charged by BA and AF.

But honestly, do you really believe that cutting the fare to US$4,000.00 one way will stimulate demand? I mean, that's really the crux of the problem, here. BA and AF have experienced a tremendous falloff in demand, thanks to the economy, the war, and Concorde's perceived safety shortcomings.

To overcome the drop in demand, BA and AF would have to cut fares far more drastically to entice their "normal" full-fare First Class passengers to pay a bit more for Concorde service. The problem is that the average load factor would have to be incredibly high to offset the shortfall in yield once fares were cut.

So let's say the fare is cut by half. That means you have to get double your normal load factor just to get back to where you are right now with fares as they are. This represents a HUGE undertaking; getting a greater than 100% bump in your bookings based solely on a fare cut. And lest we forget, the vast majority of those bookings would be coming from passengers who are already First Class customers on "normal" BA or AF flights.

Now if I'm the CEO of either company, would I rather have a First Class passenger on a B-777 where I'm making an absolute killing (thanks to the lower operating costs), or a customer that's flying Concorde, but barely covering my operating expenses? In today's day and age, I'd have to choose the former, since every extra dime counts.

Now sure, you can argue that BA and AF are able to leverage Concorde as a marketing device, but I'd hazard a guess that unless you're a diehard Concorde customer, the plane doesn't enter into a "regular" (someone who can't afford to fly Concorde) customer's decisionmaking process when choosing which airline to fly across the pond.

Odds are that both BA and AF have had people with far more experience in crunching numbers than myself looking into various ways to keep this grand lady in the air...and they've all come to the same sad conclusion; it's time to let her take her place of honor in museums around the world.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
EGGD
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:34 pm

If you reduce the price, of course. Then why take a first class seat on a 744 or 772 when you can have Concorde for the same price?

As for Virgin, why can't the a/c be painted in VS colours?? They painted it with Pepsi colours didn't they...
 
donder10
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:39 pm

BA will probabarly move to 8 dailies to JFK next summer then.If it is true that they don't make money in economy to JFK then I'm surprised they don't use the 772s instead of 744s-must be a question of not having enough jubilees Smile
 
737heavy
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RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:56 pm

Don't BA HAVE to sell it if someone else is willing to take it on? I thought this was part of the deal back in the 80's when the gov sold them to BA for £1. Also BA can do without the write off costs at the moment.
 
USAJPNflyer
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Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 6:21 am

RE: Virgin To The Rescue For Concorde?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 8:14 pm

According to this CNN article, it states that

"But British Airways said firmly on Friday its seven Concordes were "not for sale" as the successors to the joint Anglo-French manufacturers -- Airbus -- would not allow any other airlines than BA and Air France to fly the prestigious plane"

Did Airbus really make this statement?


http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/04/11/biz.trav.concorde/index.html