Ben Leon, CCO of AMG had the honour of addressing the Romney Street Group at the Atheneaum Club in London in January. The Group was founded in February 1917 by individuals close to government and interested particularly in the shaping of reconstruction after the First World War. Despite all the difficulties, the Group kept going during World War II, and continues to meet on a monthly basis in “term time” to this day. Ben shared his passion for the aviation industry with a talk entitled “20 years since the retirement of Concorde, what’s new in the aviation industry?”.

Concorde first took to the skies for a test flight in 1969 – and the aircraft’s first commercial flight was on 21 January 1976. Concorde meant so much to so many people, the engineers and designers who worked to create a plane that could go supersonic, the captains and air stewards who spent countless hours on board, those who were fortunate enough to be passengers who drank sparkling champagne while soaring through the skies…. and the millions who were inspired and admired the beauty and elegance of it’s design, and everything it represented.

Concorde was the halo, not only for British Airways and Air France – the two airline operators – it was the halo that sparked the imagination of the whole aviation industry. We all felt a deep sense of sadness when Concorde operated it’s last flight on 26 November 2003.

The most challenging period for the commercial aviation industry was the Covid pandemic. The pandemic hit aviation like no other industry. It has emerged with an incredibly strong focus on sustainability as the only global industry that has committed to the Paris Accords and the NetZero targets to be achieved by 2050. The challenges and opportunities this represents for the industry cannot be understated. They are enormous. The level of technological innovation across every area of the aviation sector is spectacular. The industry is embarking on a dramatic and revolutionary change, such that it will inspire the millions once again.