Branson Pushes To Save The Concorde

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Richard Branson's proposal to take over operation of the Concordes may have been rebuffed last month by British Airways, but that's not crimping the plans of the Virgin Atlantic Airways CEO. Branson will take his case to the British government, The Independent reported this week. "The more we dig, the more we feel Concorde should not be grounded. It is purely a move by BA to get rid of a big chunk of overheads and persuade more people to fly with it first class. ... Concorde is like a great work of art and should be saved for the country," said Branson. The Concordes were built with government subsidies, and Branson is arguing that BA cannot unilaterally decide their fate. He has assembled a team of former Concorde pilots, staff, and engineers, and will also meet with Airbus to propose that they continue to provide maintenance and support for the supersonic airliners. Branson told The Independent he wants to operate three of the Concordes on a reduced schedule with two fare classes. BA and Air France plan to ground the fleet in October.