A sad day for all flight-enthusiasts came in 2003 when the Concorde fleet was grounded. We asked Captain Mark Jealous how he felt on that fateful day…
“We were very sad, we were very disappointed and I think it would be fair to say we were very cross and angry. We didn’t want to stop obviously. And the way we heard was disappointing. British Airways is obviously listed on the stock exchange and everything commercial has to be run past the stock exchange, so I actually heard about it from Teletext. But I understand the reasons.
Towards the end of Concorde, the reception we had from the public at Heathrow was just fantastic – they actually ended up building a stand for us! The crowds in that last week of operation were just unbelievable. The crowds in Manchester for my last flight were huge. 24th October 2003 was the last day I ever flew the Concorde.
There was a real mixture of emotions on that last day – excitement at the three planes flying together, the crowds at the airports; it was incredibly exciting and exhilarating. I miss it big time. I don’t think any Concorde will fly again. I personally don’t think we’ll see supersonic flight again. Unless they can fly overland – which they can’t because of the sonic boom – they could only fly over water if they did.
Would people be willing to pay the money to get to Sydney from London in 90 minutes? I don’t know. People are telling us they want to fly cheaper and slower so that’s what we’re giving them.”
Speed of sound-bites by Captain Mark Jealous
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