View Full Version : Branson/Concord

5th May 2003, 21:03
RB seems to be coming out of his hibernation & shyness towards the media since publication of 'The Book'
Does he have any call these days with Virgin to take over Concord operations ?

8th May 2003, 23:35
With his undoubted eye for publicity RB is probably grandstanding with his talk, however as a big Airbus operator/customer he would have some influence over them and they supposedly are the ones who pulled the plug, with probably the collusion of the French Government.
I cannot help but feel the BA may well have been making more of a commercial success out of Concorde than AF. Having one crash is a bit of a kiss of death to the operation after all, and that would in the present atmosphere of acrimony and political grappling would have been an easy decision to come to by our Gallic partners.
BA may well have been losing money on it but it would be interesting to see if it could be kept in the air, even if it is only a pipe dream

Wee Weasley Welshman
9th May 2003, 21:18
I believe this is all a brand/image/profile raising exercise and there is no actual intent to operate a Concorde.

a) The BA Concordes are much higher on cycles than the AF ones.

b) The BA fleet are rapidly approaching a wave of D Checks whereas the French ones are nowhere near.

SO WHY is Mr Branson on Richard & Judy talking only about buying "BA's Concordes"?

He'd be mad to buy a high mileage vehicle in need of a major service when just down the road someone else has a load of low mileage one owner from new FSH vehicles that he's just itching to get rid off.

But maybe thats not the real point of the exercise.


9th May 2003, 22:15
Maybe he wants the BA ones because he also wants the BA slots at LHR?

Or maybe he wants them for 1 (capex) whereas the AF ones will cost more?

Or maybe BA have to agree to any sale whether they are BA or AF aircraft (and vice-versa).

There's probably a fourth reason as well...

9th May 2003, 23:30
Rustle, if Branson insists that 'Concorde' (as in the entire system: slots, mx facilities, airframes, sims) is worth 1, then the French one's are 10x cheaper.

When BA took over the running of Concorde they paid 1 each for the three 'White tail' aircraft of the six remaining that had been paid for by the government but not placed with operators (BOAC only ordered 4). This was done for accounting purposes. In the same way, the 3 extra French aircraft were sold for FF1 each.

Seeing as there are roughly 10 francs to the pound at the moment, RB would get a much better deal if he went for the AF ones :) :)

9th May 2003, 23:56

All good points, but how much clout does RB have in Paris (forget Toulouse for a moment) compared to Downing Street?

The British media like him too, but may "go off" him if he started talking about buying the AF aircraft too soon... (They'll understand if he's exhausted the BA route first)

He's not a billionaire by accident of birth ;)

Wee Weasley Welshman
14th May 2003, 21:49
Read the Tom Bower Biography on Sir Richard. Its quite an eye opener.

Tom paints a picture of a billionaire who pays low wages whilst pouring the profits through a byzantine offshore accounting system which cheats the exchequer of revenues. And yet the man in the street loves this unlikely hero.