PARIS (AP) — Air France executives met last week and discussed a target date for returning their grounded Concordes to the sky, an Air France spokesman said Sunday.

The spokesman, however, denied a report in Sunday's Le Parisien newspaper, which said that executives at the Friday meeting had spoken of an October deadline for the luxury aircraft's return to commercial service. The newspaper cited unnamed sources. All 12 Concordes, operated by Air France and British Airways, were grounded after one of Air France's jets crashed July, killing 113 people.

The spokesman, who declined to be named, said that Air France was unable to set a precise date for the Concorde's return until ongoing air and ground tests were completed and civil aviation authorities had restored the jets' airworthiness certificates.

Air France and British Airways have repeatedly said they hoped to resume their supersonic trans-Atlantic service sometime this year, but the timetable depends on how long it takes to modify the aircraft.

Technicians in France have conducted tests on Concordes outfitted with new radial tires and a reinforced fuel tank, designed to offer greater protection against punctures.

Investigators believe that a metal strip lying on the runway at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport gashed one of the Concorde's tires, sending rubber debris hurtling toward fuel tanks and triggering a fuel leak and fire that brought the plane down.