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Published: Tuesday, 1/15/2002

Concorde on runway for Toledo charter trip

The world's fastest commercial jetliner will make what is believed to be its first visit to Toledo Express Airport for a charter flight to London this spring.

Montclair Travel of New Jersey has booked a British Airways Concorde for an April 14 flight that will be the start of a 10-day package.

“I don't believe the Concorde has ever been in Toledo,” said James Hartung, president of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

After four days in London, travelers will return to the United States on a cruise aboard the Queen Elizabeth II, arriving in New York April 24. The return to Toledo will be via regular airline service.

The tour is being promoted locally by Atlas World Travel in Sylvania Township.

The Concorde, which flies at twice the speed of sound, normally makes the London-New York run in 3 hours, 15 minutes.

Fares for the tour start at $6,915, including the Concorde flight. The standard seating configuration for British Airways Concordes accommodates 100 passengers.

Travelers willing to take regular airline service to London can do so for $2,000 less. A standard flight from New York to London is about seven hours.

Mr. Hartung said he does not believe any extraordinary security precautions will be necessary for the supersonic jet's Toledo visit.

Concordes had flown scheduled transatlantic routes for Air France and British Airways for several decades when a French plane caught fire and crashed on takeoff July 25, 2000, in Paris. The fire was traced to a strip of metal on the runway that burst a tire, releasing debris that punctured a fuel tank.

The 12 remaining Concordes were grounded, but resumed service in November with stronger tires and reinforced fuel tanks.

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