By 1972 a revised estimate expected a demand of 200

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increasing the operating costs of the fuel-inefficient Concorde. By 1972, a revised estimate expected a demand of 200 aircraft, with net cash flow expected to be positive by 1976/77 (Woolley, 1972). Difficulties obtaining the needed airworthiness certificates further added delays (Sallinen et al., 2011), and the large-scale banning of over-land supersonic flights drastically restricted available flight-routes for the Concorde. By 1977, the first Concordes rolled off the production line. The development cost £1.134 billion and delivered only 14 aircraft (Smith, 2011). Prohibitive costs meant that the Concorde usually flew with many empty seats (Blum, 2021). The Concorde finally became profitable for British Airways around the turn of the millennium but a fatal accident in July 2000 resulted in the Concorde requiring a number of costly safety upgrades. A further decline in air travel after the events of 9/11 seemingly sealed the fate of the Concorde and both British Airways and Air France ceased its operation in 2003. In his book Concord: The Inside Story , George Knight describes some of the shortcomings of the project’s management. The timespan of aircraft development is longer than the life of governments. As such, the project underwent several reappraisals by the Treasury, incurring delays each time. Differences in national approaches, organizations, traditions, experience and even language created frictions between the two parties which stifled progress in the initial years of the project. Both nations approached the problem from different directions, and stubbornly clung to their own notions due to national pride. Common ground was never found on the airframe design for many years, which resulted in 4 separate project designs, none
of which were deemed satisfactory by any objective criteria (Knight, 1976). Despite political interventions mandating an alternating Director-Deputy relationship between both nations, when disagreements arose, each nation tended to undermine the other and proceed their own way. Being that one of the key principles of management is a unity of direction (Project Management Institute, 2017), this lack of cohesiveness was a major failing that required a change in leadership to rectify. What appeared to be a functional managerial framework on paper in practice introduced sources of discord, delay and duplicated expenditures (Knight, 1976). Political interference hampered the division of labour, lines of communication were chaotic, and

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