Quest Quips

blog devoted to CNN International Business anchor, Richard Quest, who looks like a cross between Roger Daltry and a Muppet. You have to see him to believe him...

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Saturday, October 25, 2003
 
RICHARD BIDS A FOND FAREWELL TO THE CONCORDE

Richard had a busy week this week. He flew to New York and reported on the Concorde's final flight and then flew back to London on the Concorde. He shared his thoughts all week which Liz in Germany diligently transcribed. I'll post most of them over next week.

Liz tell us "Here's my favorite bit of Friday’s reporting from Richard. It was during
Your World Today."


Dalijt: It is the end of an era in aviation history as the worlds
fastest passenger jet is put out to pasture. The last of the Concorde fleet has
touched down for the last time bringing tears to the eyes of celebrities and
executives alike who were at that flight and our Richard Quest was on
the supersonic jet for the last flight to London. I don’t no whether he had tears in
his eyes but he joins us live now from Heathrow airport with a couple of BA
crewmembers. Hello there Richard.

Richard: Hello, you know there are days in you career when you just
think YES and today was on of them. Couldn’t believe that I actually managed
somehow to get on the last flight of Concorde but these ladies they’ve been
shuttling back and forwards across the Atlantic like it’s a bus. We joined by
Tracey Percy and Claire Sullivan two of the senior cabin directors from
British Airways. You were both on our flight from New York. Talk to us what it
was like for you Claire when we’ve left New York this morning.

Claire: Oh, when we’ve left actually it was very emotional I have to
say because we were waving about to the van staff who we see regularly and
that was quite sad actually. And they were all lined up to the jet we used to
watching the so ahm this was a little bit emotional when we’ve left that yes.

Richard: Did you have any tears in your eyes at all today Tracey?

Tracey: I did actually. I have to say you know I was determent not to
but I did. Ahm I was actually quite fortune because i set on the flight deck
during take-off. So if I’ve seen any of the other girls I would just gone
completly but I was able to keep it together for the sake of the boys. Ahm yeah
it was very emotional.

Richard: And then as we came into London tonight the crowds the
thousands of people. I mean we knew there will be people here but it was it got you.

Claire: I know, I know.

Tracey: It’s unbelievable absolutely unbelievable. I didn’t could expected it. Absolutely fantastic.

Richard: So Concorde’s come to an end?

Claire: Hm, it has, she has.

Richard: Beautiful plane.

Claire: Look aren’t they just. You can’t imagine they really belong in
the sky, don’t they? I can not imagine that on the ground.

Richard: What for the both of you has been the special and most
important part of having been on? Let’s face it you have been across the Atlantic
on Concorde many, many, many times. How long now are both of you on the
fleet.

Tracey: Eleven years.

Claire: And about seven years.

Richard: What was so special for you?

Claire: Just I think the aircraft. She is a magical. She just looks beautiful. She is just sleek. She’s shiny. She is white. She is just gorgeous. So the whole airplane it’s fantastic.

Richard: I hate to tell you Tracey she’s it’s a plane. It’s a piece of metal.

Tracey: No we can’t get quite used to that.

Claire: No we can’t get used to it.

Richard: And what’s next for the two of you?

Tracey: Lower and slower.

Claire: Yes.

Richard: Lower and slower!

Tracey: Yeah much lower. Yeah instead of fasting in our seating belts
on the edge of space. We’ll be going to Paris faster than Eurostar about 20
000 feet I should think so.

Claire: Yeah.

Richard: And a final question: What was the key moment of the day for
both of you?

Tracey: Meeting you! (Laughter) Just being part of it. We’re so very
privileged. We’ve been asked in the first place and it’s been...

Claire: Can’t believe that.

Tracey: ...it’s been fantastic. It really has.

Richard: Well, you’ve looked after me well today.

Tracey: And it was a pleasure absolutely.

Richard: Absolute pleasure. We thank you very much.

Claire: It was a pleasure and I’ve really enjoyed it.

Richard: Ah that's putting it mildly. Are you ready? Thanks.

Tracey: Come see us at 757.

Richard: Indeed, indeed. Right so there we are here at Heathrow airport
as we say goodbye to the Concorde but not goodbye to the memories and a
form of travel that we probably won’t see again in our lifetime.

Dalijt: Richard, I know, I know you had a great time on Concorde but i
got to ask you how could you still standing after drinking all that bubbly and
i need to know was it a good year?

Richard: Well they’ve had different types! It wasn’t like there was
only one bottle of bubbly in fact there was no duty-free on board because they
had to had so many bottles. Yes the bubbling just flowed non stop from the
moment we’ve got on pretty much to the moment we’ve got off. Ask how we are
standing at this hour of the day because it has been a very long day –
oh look here here is the captain. Come on in, come on in fore goodness sake. We’ve
just got the whole trio in. Come in captain.

Claire: Come in the middle, Mike.

Richard: Well...

Mike Bannister: You just enjoyed the bubbly.

Richard: (pointing to Tracey) She said the was on the flight deck with
you during take-off.

Mike: Yeah, she was. Yes and Tracey, Tracey and Claire are great and
they really wanted hone in that they were so pleased that they were on the final flight.

Richard: Did you give her a few pointers?

Mike: She kept a close eye on us, made sure that we made nothing wrong
turned correctly in the right direction all the time. At the same time was looking after you.

Richard: And a final thought: What for you was the high point of the
day? Mike: I think the high point of the day was the smiles in everybody’s faces.

Richard: And the tears.

Mike: And the tears.

Richard: Yeah, your not forget you’re the Concorde captain admitting he shed a few tears at least hopefully not as we came into London. Many thanks indeed to all from you.