It’s time again for another post in the travel section. When Bond takes “two weeks leave of abcence” on M’s orders, he unofficially stays on the Drax assignment and travels to Rio. Bond arrives on the Air France Concorde at Galeão International Airport.
The tail number on Bond’s Concorde is F-BVFA and this was the first Concorde delivered to Air France in 1975. This plane made its scheduled maiden-flight, and the very first commercial passenger flight with Air France, on 21 January 1976. An interesting fact is that the maiden-flight was made from Paris Charles de Gaulle, via Dakar, to Rio. The very same route that Bond is traveling in the film. Air France had two weekly flights from Paris to Rio until 1982.
Welcome to Rio Mr. Bond.
|An airplane from Varig, the leading Brazilian airline at the time, is visible in the background|
A chauffeur driven Rolls Royce silver shadow picks up Bond at the airport and drives him to his hotel. Apparently the luggage was gone ahead… It becomes apparent that Dr. Goodhead is also flying with Air France to Rio when Bond finds her plane ticket when snooping around her hotel suite in Venice. If the CIA could afford the Concorde for their agent as well as Mi6 is unknown. (Jaws is flying with British airways to Rio as his flight number is called out to be “BA128 to Rio de Janeiro” at the airport when Jaws is walking through the metal detector.)
Sir Roger’s Concorde, F-BVFA that was used in the film, made its final flight from Charles de Gaulle to Washington Dulles airport and the Smithsonian Air and Space museum on the 12th of June 2003, where it still can be seen today, retired. The most beautiful aircraft ever built, and regarded by many as an aviation icon, made its final commercial flight (with British Airways) on 24 October from JFK to Heathrow. It touched down for the very last time on 26 November 2003.
*Concorde was the result of an Anglo-French government cooperation that started in the 60’s. Combining the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and The British Aircraft Cooperation it entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years. It was a supersonic turbojet-powered passenger airliner that flew transatlantic flights in less than half the time of other airliners. Sadly, due to low passenger numbers after the only crash on 25 July 2000, the decrease in air travel after 11 September 2001 and rising maintenance costs, both British Airways and Air France ended their Concorde flights in 2003.*
|The Concorde will be greatly missed|