Air France To Resume Concorde Trips

Air France and British Airways said Monday they 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. 

It said the Concorde's return to service between Paris and New York was a reflection of the airline's confidence in the future of the aviation industry, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. 

``Concorde's return to New York is symbolic of Air France's tribute to the people of this city, to their strength and their strong resolve to rebuild,'' said the statement by Jean-Cyril Spinetta, chairman of Air France. 

In London, British Airways, the other airline that flies the Concorde, confirmed it would also begin flights the same day. 

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.