Corporate flyers plan supersonic comeback

18 July 2001
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19 July 2001

Air travel buyers predict a strong demand from business travellers for seats on Concorde when it resumes flights in early autumn.

Past users, such as HSBC, UBS Warburg, Nomura and Merrill Lynch, are said to be planning to resume journeys on the supersonic passenger aeroplane.

Those surveyed by SM did not expect British Airways to have problems convincing companies to pay £5,600 for a return fare to New York, even though they now pay less for slower flights.

Etsuko Wickenden, business travel international account manager at Nomura, said: "We have got people queueing up to use it. For them, cost is not a priority; only time is."

Keith Mason, lecturer at the Cranfield Air Transport Group, said Concorde's speed would still attract travellers.

BA does not believe tightening corporate air travel budgets will hinder sales for the three-hour, 50-minute crossing.

Karen Franklin, an airline spokeswoman, said: "In the eyes of chief executives, celebrities and the wealthy the fare is good value because of the time it saves. These people are not really affected by corporate travel budgets."

SMjul2001

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