British Airways Response to Virgin Concorde

30th Apr 2003

Lord Marshall, chairman, British Airways, today issued a response to the chairman of Virgin Atlantic, Sir Richard Branson`s letter on the future of Concorde operations.

Lord Marshall said: “British Airways carried out an in-depth review of Concorde operations with the manufacturers. Regrettably this clearly established that there was no realistic prospect for the operation of Concorde services beyond October, 2003 whether by us or any other operator.
He also said: ” It is clear that the fleet cost British Airways considerably more than the sum of one pound which has appeared in the press recently.

“In fact the British Airways Board paid the manufacturers over £155 million for the aircraft. Over the course of the succeeding 27 years, British Airways has invested in excess of £1 billion into the Concorde operation.
Making reference to an arrangement between the British Airways Board and the Government dated 17 January 1980 in which the airline provided an audited detailed statement of Concorde`s operations, Lord Marshall said: “This arrangement with Government was terminated in March 1984 with the payment by British Airways of a further sum of £16.5 million for the remaining spares inventories.

“Since then there has been no current statement on the results of the Concorde operation to which Sir Richard refers
“Everyone at British Airways is sad that Concorde will no longer be in the air beyond October 2003.”




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