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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 May, 2003, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
French Concorde bids adieu
Concorde
Concorde has been ravaged by safety problems
French Concorde has arrived in Paris after making its final flight from New York.

Fans and well-wishers turned out to bid farewell to the last Air France Concorde to make the three and a half hour trip after 27 years of service.

Air France and British Airways, which between them own 12 Concordes, announced they were withdrawing the aircraft earlier this year, sounding the death knell for one of the most costly aviation projects ever.

Concorde never recovered after a horrific crash near Paris Charles de Gaulle airport three years ago, in which 113 people died.

October finale

More than 250 airport workers and maintenance staff formed a guard of honour at the Paris airport on Friday when the jet left. Some 2,000 more lined the edge of the airport to watch it take off.

The aircraft had first entered service in 1976 after more than a decade of development by the British and French governments.

British Airways will continue to operate its seven-strong fleet until October.

But for their French counterparts, museums at home and in the US and Germany beckon.

"For Air France, Concorde belongs to humanity's aviation heritage and it must therefore be possible to see and admire it," the airline said this week.

"This will be true of the entire Air France Concorde fleet: all planes that belong to it will be presented to the public."


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