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Air France sets Nov. 7 for resumption of Concorde service

Monday, October 15, 2001

PARIS (AP) -- Air France said Monday it would resume Concorde service on Nov. 7, some 15 months after the supersonic jet was grounded by a deadly crash.

"On Nov. 7, the Air France Concorde will once again be back in the skies," the airline said in a statement.

A statement was also expected from British Airways, the other airline with a Concorde fleet. The French carrier had already said its Concordes -- improved with new safety measures after the crash -- would fly in November, but it set no date.

Air France grounded its Concorde fleet after a crash in the Paris suburb of Gonesse on July 25, 2000, that killed 109 people on the plane and four on the ground. Britain followed suit weeks later.

Investigators say a stray strip of metal on the runway punctured one of the doomed Air France plane's high-pressure tires, which blew a hole in a fuel tank and started a fire.

Improvements ordered by civil aviation authorities in France and Britain include a strengthened fuel tank liner and stronger tires.

There are only a dozen Concordes between British Airways and Air France, and no plans to produce new ones.

The Concorde was responsible for between $1.4 million and $2.8 million in profit each year at Air France from 1995 to 1999, Air France said.


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