Citing the continuing upward spiral in the cost of jet fuel, Braniff International announced yesterday that it will suspend its Concord service between Dulles International Airport and Dallas-Fort Worth on June 1.
Braniff has been the only domestic airline to fly the Anglo-French supersonic plane under an unusual interchange agreement with Air France and British Airways, the two operatiors of the aircraft. Since January 1979, Braniff piolts have flow the Concorde to D-FW from Dulles International Airport five times a week after an hour on the ground following transatlantic flights.
The link has allowed travelers to save at least an hour from the fastest service now available between the Southwest and Europe.
It also gave Washington area travelers with less than the cost of a transatlantic ticket -- between $2,522 and $2,840 roung trip -- an opportunity to sample the luxury an the technology associated with the plane, albeit at subsonic speeds.
Although the plane could not be flown at supersonic speeds over land, it could fly about 100 miles an hour faster than conventional jets.
Spokesmen for the airlines pointed out that the 121 percent rise in the cost of jet fuel since the interchange service began had a special effect on the overland subsonic operation of the Concorde, because it was designed to operate most efficiently at supersonic speed.
Although Braniff's fare between Dulles and Dallas originally was set at $15 more than the first-class fare, Braniff had dropped the premium making a flight on the Concorde the same price as a first-class seat on any airline's flights between the two points. Braniff officials declined to talk about bookings on their Concorde service, which industry observers say have been very low.
In other developments:
World Airways, responding to scores of travelers eager to take advantage of a promotional fare of $70 between the West Coast and Hawaii, said it would add another daily round trip to its schedule beginning Thursday. s
Texas International Airlines announced further reductions in its "Peanuts fare" discounts between Los Angeles and several cities, including Baltimore/Washington/International Airport.