On 17th November 2003, Concorde G-BOAE made its final flight. With 70 BA staff on board, the aircraft touched down at Grantley Adams Airport in Barbados where it has remained for the past 10 years, a remnant of a previous era of glamorous supersonic travel.
The world-renowned aircraft Concorde was famously a collaboration between the UK and France (the name coming from the French for “agreement”). So how come one has ended up as a tourist attraction in Barbados, an island just 21 miles long that Concorde could have flown the entire length of in under a minute?
Only 20 Concorde aircraft were ever built. Six of these were development models or prototypes while the remaining 14 went into active service; seven with Air France and seven with British Airways. In total, the 20 planes clocked up 86,963 flights and a total of 239,049 hours in the air. That’s nearly 10,000 days or around 27 years of continuous flying in total!
Throughout these years, the planes served only four main, regular destinations: London, Paris, New York and Barbados. Hence G-BOAE is now displayed proudly in the Caribbean beside the message: “After the Concorde fleet was retired in 2003, British Airways loaned Concorde G-BOAE to the people of Barbados in recognition of the role that the island played in Concorde’s success.” The Queen herself experienced supersonic flight aboard Concorde, touching down in Bridgetown in 1977 at the end of her Silver Jubilee tour.
Sadly we’re not here to announce the news of Concorde’s revival, as flight times for your holiday in Barbados look set to remain the same for the time being. Even so, 18 of the original 20 planes remain preserved to this day, with most on display to the general public. There are seven in the UK, six in France, three in the USA, one in Germany and that one in Barbados. Below is an interactive map showing the locations of all the surviving Concordes and some facts about each one.