Concorde Home
Frequently Asked Questions



Concorde take-off
Who will own the Concorde fleet now that she has been retired?
How old is Concorde?
How many customers have travelled on Concorde?
How many flights have the British Airways Concordes made since 1976?
When did Concorde begin commercial services?
What was the flying time to New York for Concorde?
Did the British Government give Concorde to British Airways for one pound UK sterling?
Does Concorde belong to the public, since it was bought when British Airways was a public corporation?
Could the full fleet still be flying in 20 to 25 years?
Did Concorde cost the British public billions of pounds to develop?
Was the GBP155m purchase price funded by a government loan, which was subsequently written off when British Airways was privatised?
Was it a mistake to re-launch?
Will Concorde ever come out of retirement - e.g. for a Coronation flypast or airshows?
When did Concorde begin commercial services?
When and where was the first transatlantic crossing?
When was the first New York flight?










Who will own the Concorde fleet now that she has been retired?
British Airways will retain ownership of the fleet, even though the fleet is now grounded and placed at museums around the world. Each aircraft has been provided to its new home to be used in a way in which we and the new home feel is most appropriate.

Return to top

How old is Concorde?
34 years old since its first ever test flight out of Filton in 1969. 27 years since the first commercial flight.

Return to top

How many customers have travelled on Concorde?
More than 2.5 million since it started commercial passenger services in 1976.

Return to top

How many flights have the British Airways Concordes made since 1976?
Just under 50,000.

Return to top

When did Concorde begin commercial services?
British Airways' first commercial supersonic flight flew London Heathrow - Bahrain on 21 January 1976. British Airways' first Concorde flight to New York was November 1977.

Return to top

What was the flying time to New York for Concorde?
Average flight time between London Heathrow and New York JFK was three hours and 20 minutes. A Boeing 747 averages more than seven hours for the same journey.

Return to top

Did the British Government give Concorde to British Airways for one pound UK sterling?
Claims that we paid GBP1.00 (UK Sterling) for the Concorde fleet or that it was given in trust are wrong.

British Airways predecessors paid the manufacturers more than GBP155 million for the Concorde fleet (source:1977/78 Report and Accounts) and over the following 27 years of operation British Airways has invested more than GBP1 billion in the fleet.

The Concorde book value was written down to nil in 1979 and subsequent capital investments to 1983 were also written off to nil. (source: 1987 Prospectus on British Airways privatisation)

In March 1984 the government ended its involvement with Concorde when British Airways assumed full responsibility for Concorde support costs. British Airways Board paid GBP16.5 million to acquire the government's stock of spare parts and was released from the profit share scheme under which the government collected 80 per cent of Concorde operating surpluses.

In 1987 the government privatised British Airways and collected more than GBP900 million for selling its interest in the airline, including Concorde.

Return to top

Does Concorde belong to the public, since it was bought when British Airways was a public corporation?
Our shareholders purchased British Airways from the government for over GBP900 million, including the Concorde fleet. British Airways remains the owner of the Concorde fleet now it has been retired and placed at museums.

The latest statement issued by DTI states: "It is not for this Department or the government to either make decisions on either the cessation of Concorde services or the disposal of the aircraft concerned."

Return to top

Could the full fleet still be flying in 20 to 25 years?
Airbus specifies the maintenance regime and supplies spare parts which make Concorde fly. Airbus has made it clear that it will not support Concorde operations, by any airline, beyond October 2003.

Noel Forgeard, Airbus chief executive was quoted in the Financial Times : "The costs of operating Concorde, and in particular maintenance and support, have become such that operations are unrealistic for any operator."

Return to top

Did Concorde cost the British public billions of pounds to develop?
We do not know what it cost the governments - the development of Concorde was a joint decision taken by the French and British governments in the early 1960s.

Return to top

Was the GBP155m purchase price funded by a government loan, which was subsequently written off when British Airways was privatised?
The proceeds raised from privatisation, in excess of GBP900 million, more than covered the government's investment in British Airways, including the Concorde fleet.

Return to top

Was it a mistake to re-launch?
Absolutely not. At the time of re-launch, there was no way of knowing that the downturn in business and premium travel would take effect to the extent it has. Indeed, for a period after the re-launch, services were profitable.

Modification work and testing programmes were virtually complete and paid for by the time of the tragic September 11 terrorist attacks, which also impacted negatively on business travel greatly.

Return to top

Will Concorde ever come out of retirement - e.g. for a Coronation flypast or airshows?
No, as it would be too costly to maintain for occasional use.

Return to top

When did Concorde begin commercial services?
BA's first commercial supersonic flight flew London Heathrow - Bahrain on January 21, 1976. BA's first Concorde flight to New York was November 1977.

Return to top

When and where was the first transatlantic crossing?
May 24, 1976 to Washington.

Return to top

When was the first New York flight?
November 22, 1977.

Return to top

About Concorde Frequently Asked Questions Concorde Gifts Downloads Home