The Concorde’s Not Dead – It’s Virgin!

Did you think that the supersonic transport Concorde was going the way of the dodo bird, now that both the airlines that sponsored its development and ran trans-Atlantic Concorde flights for years (Air France and British Airways) have announced that they are retiring the plane? Not so.

According to the Brussels newspaper Le Soir, there’s no need to give up hope for the Concorde yet. Its potential savior is Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Atlantic airways. “We are very determined to see the Concorde continue to fly” (translated from the French) he told a recent press conference at London’s Gatwick airport. “We think that it has a potential of 20 to 25 years of life ahead of it.”

Branson pointed out that last year was certainly a bad year for the airline industry as a whole, “but one does not simply get rid of such a marvelous machine forever because of the profit-and-loss from one year” (again, translating from the French). What is more, the British minister (“ministress”?) for Industry and Commerce, Patricia Hewitt, told the BBC that she would be very interested in hearing Mr. Branson’s proposals for reviving use of the aircraft.

Yes, I know this is mainly a British story, so that by rights it should also be covered in one or more of the British papers – so you folks out there can read what’s happening for yourself, and stop having to take my word for everything! How about this, in the Daily Telegraph?

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