One of the most famous airline advertisements in the UK, the British Airways BAC-Aérospatiale Concorde model at London Heathrow airport, is to disappear and will probably be replaced by an Emirates Airbus A380 after the Middle Eastern carrier acquired the site.
The Concorde model is sited on a roundabout on the north side of Heathrow, where the spur road for the M4 motorway into London intersects the road tunnel beneath runway 09L/27R (below). View the location from Microsoft's Live Search site.
Dubai-based Emirates has secured the rights to the advertising site after British Airways ended its 16-year link with the prime location.
British Airways is preparing to dismantle the Concorde model, which is around 1:3 scale, but a spokesman says that the airline wants to try to find a new home for the iconic aircraft. “We hope to have some idea within the next couple of weeks,” he says.
© Eric Hayman
Emirates is a little less sentimental about the change. UK and Ireland vice-president Vic Sheppard says: “Concorde will always have a place in the hearts of all aviation enthusiasts, but it represents the past – while we will be using this site in a fresh and innovative way.”
It will take over the advertising site on 1 April. While Emirates has not formally indicated its plans for the site, flightglobal.com has learned that the favourite option is to install an Emirates A380 model on the traffic circle. This would take several months to put in place and, in the interim, the Arab carrier would run a teaser campaign.
Sheppard says: “The Emirates roundabout will soon be a very striking feature of the Heathrow landscape and a talking point for millions of travellers.”
Emirates has agreed a long-term contract, at an undisclosed price, with the advertising site’s manager JCDecaux Airport
. Around 25 million people travel past the location every year.
For more A380 pictures, please visit our Airbus A380 page