Barbados was bidding farewell to Concorde today with the Caribbean island’s last British Airways supersonic flight departing for London.
With Captain Les Brodie in command, Concorde was taking off for the last time from Barbados’ Grantley Adams Airport at noon local time.
The final Concorde flight is from New York to London on October 24, when BA finally brings down the curtain on 27 years of supersonic service.
BA’s chief Concorde pilot Mike Bannister said today: “The last flight from Barbados marks a sad day as we count down to the final retirement of Concorde in October.
“We should take the time today to recognise and celebrate the tremendous contribution Concorde has made to the economic life of Barbados.”
Looking forward, BA is committed to Barbados and this winter it plans to boost its operation with the introduction of three new weekly round trips, taking the total number of weekly frequencies to 11-10 from Gatwick and one from Heathrow.
BA is still considering what to do with its seven Concordes after October. The airline has a short-list of around a dozen options, including possibly presenting Concordes to museums.
BA is also considering the feasibility of keeping one Concorde operational for use at air shows and ceremonial flypasts, although the airline’s chairman Lord Marshall has conceded that it may not be possible to do this.