WORLD – Concorde may fly again in 2019
Enough funds have been raised to buy a Concorde with the aim of getting it flying again by 2019, a group of British enthusiasts says.
Club Concorde, made up of former captains, charterers and aviation fans, says it has £120m in reserve for the “return to flight” plan.
The group also plans to put another of the supersonic aircraft on permanent display in central London.
Concorde, which can travel at twice the speed of sound, last flew in 2003.
Negotiations are now under way to try to purchase or lease the two aircraft. Club Concorde president Paul James said they were hoping to source both the display and flight jets from France but no agreements had yet been made.
“We have been overwhelmed by the amount of enthusiasm and people wanting to invest,” Mr James said.
“The support shows how much people still admire Concorde and want to see it flying again.
“The plane we would like to get in the air is at Le Bourget in Paris. We had wanted to lease and restore a British Airways Concorde for display in London – next to the London Eye – but this has not been possible, so again we are looking to France and a Concorde near Orly airport.”
After restoration the plane would be used at airshows, for special events and private charter, Mr James said.
Mr James said he was confident a plane would be secured and hoped flights would start by 2019 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Concorde’s first flight.
A spokeswoman for British Airways said the company had “no plans to return Concorde to the sky.”
She added: “While we would be willing to speak to Club Concorde about their plans, the fact remains that our fleet of Concordes are currently displayed at sites around the globe and we have no plans to change these contracts at this time.”