BA trouble over Concorde tribute

By Rob Virtue on September 28, 2009 3:43 PM |

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The day before the inaugural flight from Docklands to New York and the service has already ruffled a few feathers.

Campaigners for the return of Concorde say they are angry about British Airways' decision to use the supersonic's old flight numbers for the new transatlantic route from London City Airport.

The new route will take off on its inaugural flight on Tuesday and it will be first time the BA001 number has been used since Concorde was taken out of passenger service in 2003.

Save Concorde Group's secretary Katie John said: "We know it might not seem like the most pressing issue during these times, but this is important to us. Concorde is a British institution.

"They are trying to cash in on Concorde's name with something that clearly isn't it.

"It's hardly comparable - it takes eight and half hours to get to New York with the new flights. In Concorde's day it was three hours."

The group has been campaigning for the last few years for Concorde to come out of retirement and fly in ceremonial events, and has been at loggerheads with British Airways.

Katie, who lives in Poplar, said: "We feel that the use of Concorde's flight number, in an effort to win 'prestige', is an insult to Concorde's memory and highlights how much has changed for BA since their glory days."

BA said it took the decision to give the flights from City to John F Kennedy Airport the BA001 number to honour Concorde.

A spokesman said: "We wanted to give London City route the same number as Concorde - we did it as a mark of respect."

The first flight will take off on Tuesday. Completely business class, the return flights will run twice a day on a 32-seater A318 aircraft.

Meanwhile, Peter Simpson, the managing director of Cityflyer said the airline was looking at launching tourist flights in the future.

Cityflyer, the British Airways subsidiary based at London City, has recently bought five Embraer planes and is considering using them to fly to Spanish destinations such as Majorca and Ibiza.

Simpson told Bloomberg: "We would hope to put our toe in the water later next year."

3 Comments

PS said:

It is awful to use Concorde's old flight numbers.

Is the new plane a technological achivement over Concorde?. Nope. This is an insult by BA. This new BA flight to New York from London City Airport is a step backwards in time. The flight has to make a stop at Shannon airport to refuel.

It speaks much of London City Airport as an unfit site for an airport.

Dave Jones said:

As if the use of BA001 wasn't bad enough, to add insult to injury, from October the business passengers using this new service will have to pay £60 extra just to reserve a seat - just as if they were getting a budget ryanair flight.

BA has really lost it. It's a shame on so many levels.

Dave Jones said:

As if the use of BA001 wasn't bad enough, to add insult to injury, from October the business passengers using this new service will have to pay £60 extra just to reserve a seat - just as if they were getting a budget ryanair flight.

BA has really lost it. It's a shame on so many levels.