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Concorde Flights to Resume November 7 - 2001-10-15


British Airways and French officials have announced that the Concorde supersonic jet will resume passenger service in November - 15 months after Concordes were grounded, following a crash outside Paris that killed 113 people.

French and British Concordes will go back into service at the same time.

British Airways and Air France have decided to resume service from both London and Paris to New York on November 7. All Concordes have been grounded since July 2000 after one burst into flames on takeoff from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport and crashed, killing 109 people on board and four on the ground.

Investigators determined that a tire burst after hitting a piece of metal on the runway. Pieces of the tire then ripped into a fuel tank, which ruptured, causing the fatal fire.

The fuel tanks on the remaining concordes have been lined with bullet-proof material to prevent future ruptures. The tires have been strengthened to reduce the chances of blow-outs.

Last month, British and French aviation authorities restored the air-worthiness certificates for the supersonic jets, clearing them for take off.

The Concorde flights, which take about half the time of normal transatlantic crossings, resume despite the recent sharp drop in airline passengers after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

France's transportation minister said getting the concordes back in the air would be a boost to the entire industry.

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