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Air France Concorde Makes Final Flight - 2003-06-24


An Air France supersonic Concorde had made its final flight after more than a quarter-century in service.

The needle-nose jet took off from Paris and made a loop over the Atlantic, breaking the sound barrier one last time, before touching down Tuesday outside the German city of Karlsruhe, on the last of nearly 5,500 flights.

The plane will be partly disassembled before transport down the Rhine River to its new home, a technology museum in Sinsheim. There it will be exhibited beside its old competitor, the Soviet-made Tupolev TU-144, a supersonic aircraft that spent only a brief time in passenger service.

Air France made its final commercial Concorde flight last month.

Meanwhile, British Airways announced October 24 as the date for its final New York to London transatlantic Concorde flight.

British Airways officials say the company will give away hundreds of free tickets for flights on the supersonic jets starting in July.

A Concorde crash outside Paris in July 2000 killed 113 people and forced the suspension of all Concorde travel. The French and British airlines resumed commercial service more than a year later. But passenger volume never recovered and ultimately forced the airlines to discontinue service.