Air Transport World

Concorde to be grounded. (News Briefs).

Air France and British Airways will close the door on the era of supersonic airline travel this year. AF will suspend its Concorde flights beginning May 31 while BA will stop operating the aircraft at the end of Oct. Both carriers said the decision was in response to the collapse of the SST's premium travel revenue base as well as maintenance and cost considerations.

BA CEO Rod Eddington observed, "This is the end of a fantastic era...but bringing forward Concorde's retirement is a prudent business decision."

"Air France deeply regrets having to make the decision to stop its Concorde operations, but it has become a necessity," declared Chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta. "Operating Concorde has become a severely and structurally loss-making operation. …

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