Days when Supersonic Concorde Flew Tourists into East Africa

The iconic first and only Supersonic Passenger Jet Concorde did make two landings in East Africa with more than a decade between the two trips.

The maiden landing of the Jet Concorde took place at the Embakasi Airport in the Kenyan City of Nairobi during the aircraft testing journeys on February, 27, 1975.

By the way, Embakasi is the terminal which is now known as Jomo Kenyatta International Airport following the 1978 renaming.

Anyway, the Concorde was to return to East Africa again thirteen years later in 1988.

The supersonic jet once more landed in Kenya and at the same airport, this time the terminal was already known as Jomo Kenyatta International.

It was during a 23 day round-the-world tour for the affluent globe-trotters.

The trip on the Concorde cost USD 26,000 (which is equivalent to Kenyan Shillings 2.6 million or Tanzanian Shillings 30 Million) per ticket.

The two day stopover in Nairobi was a tourism venture which included tours of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve as well as the Amboseli National Park.

The excursion was complete with a hot air balloon ride over the Maasai Mara Reserve and welcoming champagne on the JKIA runway.

The Concorde Jet, a joint venture between France and the United Kingdom had a maximum speed of Mach 2.02 which translates into 2,140 kilometers per hour.

It also featured a maximum flying altitude of 60,000 feet above sea level.

The supersonic flying machine had a capacity of carrying 100 passengers.

In contrast the fastest Passenger Jet today is the Boeing 747-8i plane which has a maximum speed of Mach 0.92 or 988 kilometers per hour.

The Boeing’s maximum flying altitude is 35,000 feet above sea level.

The Concorde Jet was retired due to technical flaws in 2003 following a fatal accident.

Both British Airways and Air France declared the Concorde to be an unprofitable project.

Plus the Concorde was said to be too noisy.

Still the Concorde remains the first supersonic passenger-carrying commercial airplane.

It was also known as supersonic transport (SST) and was engineered jointly by aircraft manufacturers in France and the United Kingdom.

The aircraft’s maiden transatlantic journey was made on September 26, 1973.

The world’s first scheduled supersonic passenger service was inaugurated on January 21, 1976.

British Airways initially flew the aircraft from London to Bahrain and Air France flew it from Paris to Rio de Janeiro.

Both airlines added regular service to Washington, D.C., in May 1976 and to New York City in November 1977.

Other routes were added temporarily or seasonally, and the Concorde was flown on chartered flights to destinations all over the world.

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