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It was developed by British Airways and Air France in the 1970s as the first supersonic passenger/civilian airplane.

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closed as off-topic by CGCampbell, Simon, abey, David Richerby, Peter Kämpf Nov 24 '14 at 13:44

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    $\begingroup$ possible duplicate of: aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/3782/… $\endgroup$ – Stanley Nov 21 '14 at 6:24
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    $\begingroup$ This is already covered in detail on Wikipedia. What are you looking for that isn't already written there? $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Nov 21 '14 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ Concorde wasn't developed by British Airways and Air France. Although the airlines ended up being the sole operators, the aircraft was developed and built by a consortium of aircraft manufacturers. Initially Bristol and SUD later Aerospatiale/BAC. $\endgroup$ – RedGrittyBrick Nov 21 '14 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ There has been a very interesting program on the french public service radio France Inter just this week on this exact matter. $\endgroup$ – bela83 Nov 21 '14 at 12:31
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    $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is about Trivial Facts easily determined in Wikipedia. $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell Nov 23 '14 at 18:11
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Ultimately the cost of flying the aircraft was more than the revenue that it generated. The Concorde began a steady decline to retirement after the firey crash of Air France Flight 4590 which killed 113 people, and again suffered setback after September 11th, 2001. Even with the best safety record in airline history, the crash combined with the terrorist attacks led to passenger fear and low sales. Airlines that operated the Concorde eventually lost money on most flights, and long term operations were simply not sustainable. To make matters worse, it was very limited to which airports it could fly to in the US: JFK, IAD and DFW. The FAA was opposed to the Concorde for pollution, noise and fuel inefficiency concerns.

British Airways cites mostly political reasons for the ending of its Concorde program. They claim that the Concorde would have remained profitable had Airbus retained the airplane. However, there was also speculation that, due to the dwindling numbers of passengers, BA realized that it could make more money carrying passengers subsonically across the Atlantic.

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    $\begingroup$ @SHAF and that it wasn't US made. $\endgroup$ – ratchet freak Nov 21 '14 at 9:30
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    $\begingroup$ Flights were limited to those airports in the US... there are lots of other airports in the world! Concorde did fly to several other destinations, but it also met with problems overflying some countries and the fact it wasn't allowed to go supersonic over land (limiting it's use for many routes). It was only ever really viable for Transatlantic flights from Western Europe to the Eastern US and Caribbean. $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Nov 21 '14 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ Note also that Concorde WAS profitable when used by BA later in it's service life... BA realised that people thought the cost for a ticket was higher than it actually was, and simply increased the price to match. BA's usage was eventually shut down by the manufacturer ending maintenance support. $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Nov 21 '14 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ @JonStory Updated to reflect suggestion $\endgroup$ – Rhino Driver Nov 21 '14 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding "the best safety record in airline history," didn't it pretty much go from the best to one of the worst after AF4590? When you only have 14 aircraft in airline service, one fatal accident changes your statistics dramatically. Of course, it seems a bit unfair really to have even called it the most safe in the first place, since it never had enough flight hours for a statistically meaningful comparison with other airliners. Even with the 737 and A320 series, one accident is enough to dramatically change the statistics. $\endgroup$ – reirab Oct 16 '15 at 15:36
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Why did Air France retire the Concorde

It wasn't making money - in fact, it was losing money. Huge fuel price increases shortly after it was brought in meant it was never really profitable for Air France. Then double-whammy of the Air France Flight 4590, followed a few years later by 9/11 hitting Airlines hard in reduced passenger numbers (particularly into New York), caused Air France to consider it no longer viable to run even as a loss-making flagship service.

Why did British Airways retire the Concorde

A related but separate question, BA actually found a way to make their Concorde's profitable later on. They discovered that the public (particularly the business users who weren't paying for their own tickets...) thought Concorde tickets were more expensive than they actually were, so merely increased the price to match. They were profitable for several years until Airbus announced they were no longer going to maintain or support the aircraft.

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The Concorde did fly for several years, but it couldn't fly supersonic over land (as Steve pointed out, it was able, but not allowed due to concerns about the sound of the sonic boom) and it guzzled fuel. In the end, it wasn't economically viable.

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    $\begingroup$ Was not permitted to fly supersonic over land. $\endgroup$ – Steve V. Nov 21 '14 at 3:51
  • $\begingroup$ "Concorde did fly for several years" 27 is about two decades more than "several". And it had been forbidden from flying supersonic over land for the whole of that time, so why did the inability to go supersonic over land suddenly cause Concorde to be retired in 2003, rather than in 1983? $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Nov 21 '14 at 9:10

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