[Edition 26] PARIS, Tuesday: The Manager of the Hotelissimo Hotel today claimed that he made it perfectly clear to Air France that he did not have enough room for the 109 passengers on the Concorde.
Speaking at a press conference, Mr Pierre Simenon claimed that the wholesale destruction of his hotel is entirely Air France’s fault. “I want to make it clear that at no stage did I claim to Air France or any of its employees that there was parking for a Concord at the hotel.”
Unbowed by the complete destruction of his existing business, Mr Simenon intends to build a new hotel on the same site with the expected insurance payout, although he today conceded that he will “probably” give the new hotel a less silly name.
Rejecting Mr Simenon’s comments, Air France has vowed to seek similar relationships with other hotels. “Our research shows that many passengers, particularly high-value customers who are prepared to pay for direct-to-the-door convenience, would like a service which takes your luggage straight to your room and drops you off directly in the reception,” said Mr Jean-Cyril Spinoza, the President of Air France. “While the initial trial wasn’t entirely a success, this does not mean we should give up.”
Spinoza explained that the Concorde can fly from Paris to New York in less than half the time taken by a regular jet plane. “It takes nearly eight hours in a 747, but only three-and-a-half by Concorde,” he said. “That advanced technology meant that it took only two minutes to fly into the hotel – a 747 would have taken at least six.”
Forensic experts investigating the fatal Concorde disaster yesterday announced they were puzzled by the discovery of what appears to be a second black box, which had recorded the last crucial minutes of Serge Gainsbourg’s “Je t’aime”.
“Actually, it could just be a Walkman,” said one crash expert. “On the other side of the tape there’s a lot of Barry Manilow. It must have belonged to one of the flight stewards.”
Investigators say the original black box is only partly helpful, since most of the recorded material can’t be heard above the Concorde’s sonic boom.
“All the audio is delayed because the plane was travelling faster than sound. So when the aircraft hits the ground, the black box is still recording the boarding announcement.”
While the crash has appalled most people, a spokesperson for several South Pacific nations, including Muraroa Atoll in the tiny republic of Microneia, have applauded the French decision to move large French-made explosions to Charles de Gaulle Airport and away from their current location in the Pacific islands.
Of the 100 passengers on board the Concorde flight, 96 were German. Air France has dismissed this as a coincidence, but French National Front Leader Jean-Marie Le Pen has claimed that the crash was a huge success, and “would have made Charles De Gaulle proud. With only one hundred thousand more such flights, we would succeed in eradicating Germans entirely,” said the right-wing leader.
The flight disaster has, however, elicited an angry response from Germany. “The plane was supposed to leave at 2.05pm and yet it did not take off on its journey of death till 2.25pm – 20 minutes late. That kind of tardiness is just unacceptable,” said one disgusted German citizen.