Stoddart looks to buy Concorde!

Just a fortnight after his team was rescued by Bernie Ecclestone, beleaguered Minardi team principal Paul Stoddart has revealed that he's looking into buying a Concorde aircraft

Stoddart looks to buy Concorde!

Stoddart has made his money in the aviation and aviation spares businesses, although he sold off an arm of his operation last November.

Before anyone misconstrues where Ecclestone's cash injection could be going, Stoddart was at pains to point out that his enquiries are in their infancy.

"Through our extensive connections at British Airways we have shown an interest as, indeed, have a lot of other people," he explained. "There is no real mystery to that because we are not talking about operating it commercially.

"We would be one of the few companies in the UK who would be capable of maintaining a Concorde if that kind of a deal should come up. But I wouldn't honestly say that it's beyond the enquiry stage."

As to the purpose, he added: "We would maintain subsonic flights of fantasy to keep the greatest civilian aircraft ever built in the air."

He denied, however, any attempt to fulfil any personal fantasy. "No, I think it would be an incredibly good commercial venture. When you ask people what's the best aircraft in the world or what they would like to go on, they all say Concorde.

"Several companies, but one in particular, has made a very healthy business for the last decade in doing theses flights of fantasy, where people just go off up the Bay of Biscay and back again.

"I believe Concorde is the greatest civilian aircraft ever built and that it deserves life beyond the end of this year. I also recognise totally the sensitivity of BA, and for that matter Air France, to anyone maintaining them in commercial operation. That would not be right."

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