Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde is a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet airliner that was in service from 1976 to 2003. It is one of only two supersonic transports to have entered commercial service; the other was the Tupolev Tu-144. Concorde was jointly developed and produced by Aerospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty. It featured a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04, with seating for 92 to 128 passengers. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years. Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York-JFK, Washington Dulles and Barbados; it flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss; Air France and British Airways also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type’s only crash in 2000, the 11 September terrorist attacks in 2001, and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support. A total of 20 aircraft were built in France and the United Kingdom; six of these were prototypes and development aircraft. Seven each were delivered to Air France and British Airways. Concorde’s name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom and France. In the UK, any or all of the typeunusually for an aircraftare known simply as “Concorde”, without an article. The aircraft is regarded by many people as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel.
British Airways, often shortened to BA, is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom and its largest airline based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations. When measured by passengers carried it is second-largest in Britain, behind easyJet. The airline is based in Waterside near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. A British Airways Board was established by the United Kingdom government in 1972 to manage the two nationalised airline corporations, British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways, and two smaller, regional airlines, Cambrian Airways, from Cardiff, and Northeast Airlines, from Newcastle upon Tyne. On 31 March 1974, all four companies were merged to form British Airways. After almost 13 years as a state company, British Airways was privatised in February 1987 as part of a wider privatisation plan by the Conservative government. The carrier soon expanded with the acquisition of British Caledonian in 1987, followed by Dan-Air in 1992 and British Midland International in 2012. British Airways is a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance, along with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and the now defunct Canadian Airlines. The alliance has since grown to become the third-largest, after SkyTeam and Star Alliance. British Airways merged with Iberia on 21 January 2011, formally creating the International Airlines Group (IAG), the world’s third-largest airline group in terms of annual revenue and the second-largest in Europe. IAG is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the FTSE 100 Index. A long-time Boeing customer, British Airways ordered 59 Airbus A320 family aircraft in August 1998. In 2007 it purchased 12 Airbus A380s and 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, marking the start of its long-haul fleet replacement. The centrepiece of the airline’s long-haul fleet is the Boeing 777, with 58 in the fleet. British Airways is the largest operator of the Boeing 747-400 in the world, with 53 registered to the airline.