Flight of fancy

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Another symbol of Anglo-French amity consigned to the past. Concorde used to be the future. Air travel was going to be faster, a supersonic timesaver for the élite. Instead, it turned out that what mattered was not speed but price, and jumbo jets democratised air travel, opening its freedoms to millions.

Another symbol of Anglo-French amity consigned to the past. Concorde used to be the future. Air travel was going to be faster, a supersonic timesaver for the élite. Instead, it turned out that what mattered was not speed but price, and jumbo jets democratised air travel, opening its freedoms to millions.

Those trends have continued, as low-cost airlines innovate and drive prices down, while the environmental costs of air travel have become better known, sealing the glass case around Concorde in the museum of aviation history.

But what an exhibit! It is a shame and a surprise that there are not enough people prepared to pay to arrive in New York before the local time of their departure. A twinge of regret, therefore, should mark the disappearance of the sight – and thunderous sound – of a design classic, taking another layer of the romance of travel with them.

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