The keep a Concorde flying petition is a nice gesture, I can only say that the idea of a 'Heritage Flight' was pushed by Eddington, though it now looks that the obstacles to it are formidable, so who am I to say it probably won't achieve it's goal.
I just wish that some at BA
Engineering had fought Concorde's corner harder, like it used to be.
being forced to stop, by a mix of commercial and technical issues, the end for BA
was inevitable, however I fully believe that a harder line with Airbus could at least have extended support to next April, or even late 2004.
We could have returned OAB to flight, brought back those re-deployed last year, kept the scheduled maintenance running at full throttle for another year or so, thus enabling BA
, when announcing the retirement perhaps a year before the event rather than 6 months, to run more scheduled (double daily JFKs and additional BGIs) and a charter operation, the latter enabling many more people to affordably experience Concorde.
In our last months, with people being determined to fly Concorde, we were making over £5 Million per week profit, imagine how we could have helped BA
's bottom line by almost doubling that and a real spectacular retirement, with more tours around the world and the UK.
But Eddington was getting discouragement from the hostile head of BA
Engineering and his placemen, they saw their chance and went for it, re-deploying staff saved no money for BA
, made their budget look good though, these are people who threaten to sack experienced, well qualified staff for having their jacket on their chair.
We put on a good show in the end, but we could have done so much more.
This weekend, BA
staff and families were allowed in the hangar, we had OAD and OAE looking immaculate, accessible and with the power on, OAD with the nose/visor down and engine bay doors open, OAE with the nose/visor in flight/parking configuration.
Also an engine on a stand, an intake computer, seats, menus, meal service, a window, a video playing with scenes from the aircrafts history with personal recollections of crew and pax and a selection of merchandise.
We were on hand to explain, show around, ensure health and safety.
The feedback we got was great, the most common comment was 'why are we getting rid of Concorde?'
Sadly, despite trying, BA
were unable to get permission for the public to come in, though the BA
staff were ticket controlled, in manageable groups, bussed in and out of the secure areas.
won't wear us allowing a similar method for the public though, we could have charged for a ticket and given the profits to BA