As new technology changes our lives, air travel has seen advancements in passenger comfort and the integration of inflight entertainment and wi-fi. Pilots have also seen advancements in aircraft cockpits that make their jobs easier. However, when it comes to travel times we have not seen much development since the Concorde were retired in the early 2000s. One airline is now taking on the challenge to bring back commercial supersonic travel.
Japan Airlines (JAL) has formed a partnership with Boom Supersonic - a California-based startup company working to develop a new supersonic aircraft for commercial travel. The airline is making a strategic investment of USD $10 million with an option to purchase 20 Boom planes. JAL will also consult Boom throughout the development process.
“We’ve been working with Japan Airlines behind the scenes for over a year now,” said Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic. “JAL’s passionate, visionary team offers decades of practical knowledge and wisdom on everything from the passenger experience to technical operations. We’re thrilled to be working with JAL to develop a reliable, easily-maintained aircraft that will provide revolutionary speed to passengers. Our goal is to develop an airliner that will be a great addition to any international airline’s fleet.”
“We are very proud to be working with Boom on the advancement in the commercial aviation industry. Through this partnership, we hope to contribute to the future of supersonic travel with the intent of providing more `time` to our valued passengers while emphasizing flight safety ,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines.
Boom has announced in previous reports that five unnamed airlines have placed orders for the next-generation supersonic aircraft, which resembles the Concorde. On its website, the aircraft will fly with a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 - more than twice the speed of sound and faster than current commercial aircraft (Mach 0.85). The Concorde reached speeds of Mach 2.0.
With speeds reaching twice the speed of sound, Boom hopes it would allow for more affordable travel and faster long distance travel, where it could reduce a normal 8 hour trip from New York to London to just 3 hours.
Japan Airlines joins the Virgin Group led by Sir Richard Branson - as both a launch customer and partner airline.