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Concorde Set to Fly Until 2017 Issue July 28 2000 Concorde will continue in service well into the next decade despite the fatal crash of Air France flight 4590 outside Paris earlier this week British Airways and Air France have confirmed Both airlines are maintaining scheduled reviews of their Concorde fleets in 2005 and each has plans to continue supersonic service for a further 10 years We intend to carry on flying Concorde until at least 2015 said BA spokesperson Sarah Jones There is as yet no scheduled retirement day for any of the aircraft she added Air France officials confirmed a similar timetable for its fleet Commentators agree that Concordes almost unblemished 30-year safety record gives the aircraft credibility This was reflected in the lack of media or public outcry following BAs decision to resume its twice-daily London-New York service only one day after the July 25 accident Air Frances fleet remains grounded under order of French civil aviation authorities This is expected to be lifted by the end of the week But the crash of a chartered flight into a hotel in Gonesse killing 100 passengers nine Air France crew and four hotel employees has brought Concorde unwanted publicity Questions once subdued by disinterest are again rising These include the safety of an aircraft that is at best difficult to control at takeoff and landing and environmental concerns such as noise pollution and the aircrafts insatiable appetite for fuel There are also mixed opinions over Concorde safety claims Some commentators argue that the aircraft is infrequently used - an average aircraft such as flight 4590 has less than 8000 cycles full flights on its record the equivalent of a four- or five-year-old Boeing BA 747 - and therefore still in the prime of its life despite 25-years of service However others point to the high pressures Concorde flies under as a significant aging factor Put it
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