thaigold
Posts: 305
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 3:22 pm

Branson Success With Concorde?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 5:22 pm

It is very sad to see the Concorde disappearing from the skies - I personally only saw it once on approach into SYD some years ago. What a beautiful plane.....

As everyone knows Richard Branson tried to keep the Concorde flying but do you think it would have been a success - or was it just a publicity stunt?

IMO the demand for the Concorde finished after the first big slump in airtravel in 2001. BA and AF were loosing big money on the flights with few passengers flying. And what's a couple of extra hours anyway when you can save big money - even in first class.

So would Sir Richard been able to make money on the Concorde? I think not!

Anyone else??
Dunbar Rovers forever
 
Jaspike
Posts: 4843
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:40 pm

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 7:00 pm

Branson was live on TV a few hours ago and he said he wants to get people from various companies all around a table and simply discuss it. Meanwhile, live on BBC1, Rod Eddington has said that it just wouldn't happen. Branson said he could make money out of it... let's hope Branson might do what he said he wants to do Big thumbs up

Josh
 
GDB
Posts: 12652
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Fri Oct 24, 2003 7:43 pm

Neither the manufacturers nor the airworthiness authorities would allow VS to operate Concorde, they know the experience, infrastructure and the rest was with two operators, BA and AF.
He could not afford it either, if Airbus and BA cannot, he can't.
He was told this 5 months ago, so maybe all his noise since is just some kind of attention deficit disorder.
 
elwood64151
Posts: 2410
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 10:22 am

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:15 am

Let's face it: The cabin of the Concorde is too small to make money.

The aircraft never really operated at anything that could truely be called "profitability". Even an LCC-like operation such as VS couldn't make money at it. It's simply too much aircraft for too few passengers.

Maybe Fed Ex could do it... "Deliver your package to London in six hours or less!"
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:55 am

How are you feeling today GDB? You worked on the old girl all that time, it must be rather emotional watching everything come to an end.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 2:16 am

The aircraft never really operated at anything that could truely be called "profitability". Even an LCC-like operation such as VS couldn't make money at it.

I don't understand this sentence. Could you clarify what you meant about VS??

N
 
John G
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2000 12:03 am

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:03 am

In re: the supersonic package idea, I think FedEx or another similar company had that idea back in the Eighties - a "Supersonic Letter" service based upon a constantly-cycling pair of Condcordes between JFK-SNN; it never came to anything.

In re: the Branson idea I think he intended a two-class service on Concorde, with the "upper" higher than current fare and the "lower" slightly below. The basic problems of spares supply, etc. would still have applied.

One thing we've not heard, extent to which BA staff were used to fill out the load factors - a senior BA person told me up to 1/4 of pax on any given Concorde flight were BA senior people.
 
dc-10 levo
Posts: 3376
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2001 3:22 am

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:09 am

But there's still hope. Sky News said today that BA ARE keeping one Concorde operational for air shows and fly-bys.

DC-10
 
Jaspike
Posts: 4843
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:40 pm

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:12 am

Hmm... Rod Eddington said this morning that they'd be deciding what to do with the aircraft in the next 2 weeks, so it sounds like nothing is confirmed yet.

Josh
 
JU101
Posts: 831
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2001 1:57 am

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:57 am

I think that Branson is and was blowing hot air for the media. It is basically an inexpensive campaign on his part to show the opulent travelers, that he has their best interests at mind. Think of it as a subliminal message - if you prefer traveling in style, why not try Virgin?

The attractive thing about the plane was its impressive speed. However, I am sure the level of comfort cannot compare with first class cabins of most other wide body aircraft. The cabin is narrow, seats are smaller, leg room less, cabin louder, windows smaller, etc. Not to mention that the Concorde had a very limited market, serving only a handful of destinations.

It was a great plane. I had the pleasure of being next to the British Airways Concorde back in 1997. It always attracted many aviation enthusiasts. I am sure it will be missed.
 
GDB
Posts: 12652
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 7:52 am

I had access to Concorde pax lists between 1997 and 2000 and NEVER saw any flight where anywhere near 25% of pax were staff.
10% at the very most.
Losing some 80 regular pax in the WTC was a blow.
So what about it being 'cramped', you need more room on a subsonic as you were on it for much longer!
I've shown many people over the aircraft, most were surprised that it was roomier than they thought, or were told.

 
donder10
Posts: 6944
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 5:29 am

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 8:13 am

Let's face it: The cabin of the Concorde is too small to make money.

The aircraft never really operated at anything that could truely be called "profitability". Even an LCC-like operation such as VS couldn't make money at it. It's simply too much aircraft for too few passengers

I'm sure that would be news to BA especially in the 80s to mid 90s!
 
AvObserver
Posts: 2392
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2002 7:40 am

RE: Branson Success With Concorde?

Sat Oct 25, 2003 8:42 am

I didn't consider the Concorde cabin cramped, just a bit cozy, though a 5', 9 1/2", my head's not exactly in the clouds. The infamous radio DJ, Howard Stern, said this morning he was very constrained in the cabin when he flew the SST as part of Paramount's promotional junket for his 1997 movie, "Private Parts" but at 6', 5", it's easy to see he'd have a problem on a lot of airplanes. I didn't find it noisy, either, though I haven't yet flown the quietest airplanes in the sky. It was way roomier and quieter than the Embraer RJ-145 I just flew out to Minnesota but that's not the best comparison. I just can't buy all of this Branson bravado, he's just beating a dead horse he didn't really want to ride, anyway. As GDB constantly reminds us, the numbers consistently show it would be infeasible for VS to put together a viable Concorde operation. It's value to Branson is and has always been the free publicity his hoopla over the SST has gotten for his airline, there couldn't have been any real intent to take over supersonic service. But let SRB keep playing his wily little games, if nothing else, they provide amusing fodder for this forum!  Laugh out loud