British Airways has spent around £1 million over the last twelve months on a low-key marketing campaign to win back passengers to its flagship transatlantic service – grounded since the disastrous crash of an Air France Concorde at Paris de Gaulle airport last July.
Despite the tragedy, BA is confident that the great and the good will have no qualms about flying the supersonic status symbol: “Confidence in the aircraft is very strong from our key customer base, as well as the public at large,” says BA’s head of marketing for Concorde, Chris Jansen. “Concorde is of such high interest both for its frequent flyers and the public at large that in a way it will relaunch itself," he added.
The first flight of the revamped Concorde is scheduled for the end of September, although there will be no triumphal relaunch celebrations – deemed inappropriate in the wake of the Paris tragedy.
Says Jansen: “It is important to remember the context here. We are in this situation because of a very tragic accident. I am sure people will be very happy to have Concorde back but we won't be celebrating with champagne and parties."
The launch adspend, however, is a drop in the ocean alongside the £17m spent on safety modifications since the crash and the £14m on interior refits to replace the somewhat sombre former grey and black design.
The new design, by Sir Terence Conran, incorporates ink-blue leather seating with a “cool blue” lighting effect that ripples through the cabin as Concorde goes supersonic.
News source: Financial Times