Air France to Resume Concorde Service
Oct. 15, 2001
PARIS (AP) _ Air France said Monday it would resume Concorde service on Nov. 7, some 15 months after the supersonic jet was grounded by a deadly crash.
``On Nov. 7, the Air France Concorde will once again be back in the skies,'' the airline said in a statement.
A statement was also expected from British Airways, the other airline with a Concorde fleet. The French carrier had already said its Concordes _ improved with new safety measures after the crash _ would fly in November, but it set no date.
Air France grounded its Concorde fleet after a crash in the Paris suburb of Gonesse on July 25, 2000, that killed 109 people on the plane and four on the ground. Britain followed suit weeks later.
Investigators say a stray strip of metal on the runway punctured one of the doomed Air France plane's high-pressure tires, which blew a hole in a fuel tank and started a fire.
Improvements ordered by civil aviation authorities in France and Britain include a strengthened fuel tank liner and stronger tires.
There are only a dozen Concordes between British Airways and Air France, and no plans to produce new ones.
The Concorde was responsible for between $1.4 million and $2.8 million in profit each year at Air France from 1995 to 1999, Air France said.