Japan Airlines and Boom Announce Partnership for Supersonic Air Travel

Marco Green
December 5, 2017

Instead of typical eight-hour red-eyes from NY to London, Boom hopes to offer three-hour, 15-minute flights for about $5,000 round trip.

Supersonic jetliner travel, which ended more than a decade ago with the Concorde, has received a boost as Japan Airlines agrees to invest US$10 million ($14.5 million) in U.S. startup Boom Technology.

Boom is planning to build a 45-to-55 seat aircraft that cruises at Mach 2.2 (2335kmh) - capable of whisking passengers between NY and London in about three hours. Typical airplanes are more in the range of 650 miles per hour.

Boom is building a passenger jet capable of flying two times faster than the speed of sound.

Boom said on Tuesday that as part of the agreement with Japan Airlines, the carrier will help refine the aircraft design and have the option to purchase up to 20 Boom aircraft through a pre-order arrangement.

Boom's aircraft is expected to enter service in the mid-2020s.

Boom estimates that fares for its aircraft would be 75 percent lower than the Concorde and comparable to current business class tickets, due to better fuel efficiency.

Notably, Boom said, this is the first time an airline has actually made a financial commitment to supersonic aircraft before they've been available.

It has raised $51 million in backing so far from venture capital firms 8VC, RRE, Lightbank, Y Combinator and Caffeinated Capital, as well as angel investors including Sam Altman, Paul Graham and Greg McAdoo.

Boom says its aircraft, priced at $200 million, will produce a sonic boom at least 30 times quieter than the Concorde, which was also dogged by high operating costs and fuel consumption and low capacity utilization.

Japan Airlines (JAL) has invested millions of USA dollars in a Richard Branson-backed plan to reintroduce supersonic passenger flights 14 years after the Concorde was retired.

Apart from the Concorde - a joint effort by France and Britain - the only other supersonic airliner to take to the skies was the Soviet built Tupolev Tu-144. To date, there have been only two supersonic aircraft to take to the skies.

Commercial flights of the Tu-144 stopped in 1978.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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