Yesterday's terrorist attacks in Paris were a dark day for The City of Light. Today's Featured Map harks back to a brighter time: Air France's scheduled service from Paris on Concorde.
Air France began Concorde service on 21 January 1976 with service to Rio de Janeiro, with a technical stop at Dakar. (British Airways began Concorde service the same day, flying from London to Bahrain.) Several months later, on 10 April 1976, Air France added Concorde service to Caracas via Santa Maria in the Azores.
The United States initially banned Concorde, but U.S. Secretary of Transportation William Coleman gave permission for Concorde to serve Washington Dulles International Airport and service commenced on 24 May 1976. Service to New York was delaye even longer due to a ban by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which was overturned after length legal battles allowing Concorde flights to JFK to start on 22 November 1977.
The next year, on 20 September 1978, Air France extended the Washington route with a twice-weekly tag to México City. The México City service, which sometimes flew from New York rather than Washington, lasted until November 1982. Due to U.S. concerns over sonic booms, these flights were routed offshore except for crossing Florida which was flown at Mach 0.95. (This path is approximated on the map.)
Air France Concordes also flew scheduled service between Washington and Dallas-Fort Worth from 1978 to 1980, but these were Braniff flights with Braniff crews, using aircraft which were leased for the subsonic round-trip.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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