Concorde to take flight with US and European PR push

LONDON: The Concorde is ready to fly again, so the PR teams of

British Airways and Air France are ramping up their efforts to attract

new customers - and woo back the old ones .



The companies have been granted air-worthiness certificates following

$44 million modifications to the aircraft that included lining

the fuel tanks with Kevlar. The Concorde fleet was grounded following an

Air France Concorde crash in July 2000 that killed 113 people.



"We are saying that we hope to resume Concorde service sometime in

October," said John Lampl, VP of communications for North America.



Lampl said that plans are underway for a launch flight from London to

New York, with about 20-30 seats dedicated to media. It is possible the

company will also run a similar media-heavy flight from New York to

London.



In London, outreach programs took place this past weekend to bring

various constituencies up to date on the progress of the renovations.

Corporate travel managers, business and leisure travel agents, and

Executive Club members were briefed separately.



An invitation-only briefing session was also held with staff and some

members of the general public who had expressed an interest. The

briefings were held at Heathrow Airport, adjacent to the engineering

bay. "Part of the orientation will be a tour through the airplane,

through the seats," Lampl said.



A media briefing is also being held in New York this week. British

Airways is working with GCI Group to organize all its events.



Planning meetings are already underway for the launch, which will

probably include taking a group of journalists onto the runway during

takeoff, as well as a press conference after the plane lands.



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