World media sees Concorde fly again

New York: British Airways' test flight for the Concorde last week

was the first in a raft of PR moves leading up to the November 7

relaunch of the service.



The Concorde flew from Heathrow to New York and back on October 22 in

order to check that the systems were in place for resuming service,

including arrivals, departures, ground crew, and catering. Air France

will be holding a similar test flight this week.



The media was invited to watch the landing from the roof of BA's

building at JFK International Airport. ABC's World News Tonight,

Reuters, NBC, and AP television covered the test.



The next major PR operation will take place on the day of the launch,

when an invitation-only group of passengers will board the BA and Air

France Concorde aircraft in the UK and Europe. Select members of the

media, primarily from Europe, will join top corporate customers and

travel executives.



"We will hopefully have a joint press conference in the BA building with

a lunch later in the city," said John Lampl, VP of communications for

BA. New York politicians and the heads of the two airlines will also

attend.



On November 8, a group assembled from US top customer lists, business

travel agencies, and some media will take the trip to the UK.



Ticketed customers will be able to fly the Concorde beginning November

9, and a special promotional fare has already yielded at least 3,000

bookings.



Lampl said that a lot of the questions being asked concerned security

and whether BA is concerned that the high-profile Concorde may be a

target for terrorist action. "We are dedicating a huge security effort

for all our flights, including the Concorde," he said. "Some people have

asked, 'Why are you doing this?' One reason is to show our support for

New York."



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