£40m Staked On Bringing Back Concorde

Photo of author
Written By Mahmoud Sarvari

An anonymous donor has handed over £40 million to fund the rebuilding and display of two supersonic Concorde airliners.

The pair of famous aircraft will go on display in London and Paris – the capitals of the two countries who built and flew Concordes.

In London, one jet will stand on a platform in the River Thames alongside the London Eye.

Restored to her full, famous glory, visitors will be invited to tour the aircraft.

On the lower decks of the platform will be shops, restaurants and bars where tourists can sample the menu offered on the flights and buy memorabilia.

Brand damage

British Airways retains ownership of Concorde as a ploy to stop other airlines after supersonic flights from London to New York ended.

Club Concorde International, a consortium of pilots, passengers and engineers is planning the project and has just one hold up.

The club explained some BA executives fear Concorde is 20th century throwback that might damage their brand and are reluctant to lease the aircraft to the project.

In the event that BA will reject the offer, the club is trying to buy two other Concordes – one at Orly Airport, Paris and another in New York.

Concorde was the first overseas airliner to land in the US after the 9/11 disaster.

Meanwhile, another Club Concorde restoration project is underway at Brooklands, the former racing circuit and airfield in Kent.

Fatal crash

The group has obtained a Concorde in pieces and is gradually putting the plane back together with the aim of having permission to fly by 2019.

Concorde first test flight was in 1969. The aircraft started commercial flights in 1976 and flew from London to New York until 2003.

The lustre of flying Concorde was tarnished after a fatal crash of an Air France jet in 2000.

Although the airliner could fly at more than twice the speed of sound and carry up to 128 passengers in luxury, the cost of taking Concorde across the Atlantic was huge.

Fares were around £4,000 even though the journey time was sliced by more than half to three hours.

Club Concorde claims to have £120 million of reserve funding standing by to ensure completion of their projects.