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Japan Airlines pumps millions into supersonic passenger jet

07 December 2017
Japan Airlines pumps millions into supersonic passenger jet

Boom Supersonic said it received a $10 million investment from Japan Airlines Tuesday as it looks to build a jet that could take travelers from NY to London in just over three hours, potentially zipping by commercial planes from giants Boeing (BA) and Airbus (EADSY).

The exemption would be an interim measure, Scholl says, as Boom continues to work with the ICAO on a harmonised global standard for regulating community noise created by supersonic aircraft.

A flight from San Francisco to Tokyo takes 11 hours - a Boom aircraft flying at Mach 2.2 could make the journey in half the time.

The agreement has JAL collaborating with Boom Supersonic to refine the aircraft design and help define the passenger experience for supersonic travel, the airline said. Boom is consistently lining up big partners in aviation, however, including Richard Branson's Virgin Airlines, and Scholl told me this is a key part of its strategic planning. "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". The move made by JAL shows that Japan Airlines is serious about pushing the limits of their carriers while also keeping up with their competition.

The payoff for the investment is likely years away when Boom doesn't expect the first aircraft to enter service until 2023. The deal includes options for 20 aircraft.

A total of five airlines, including JAL and Virgin, have committed to buy up to 76 Boom airliners.

A CGI mock-up of what the interior of the Boom Supersonic could one day look like
A CGI mock-up of what the interior of the Boom Supersonic could one day look like

"JAL's passionate, visionary team offers decades of practical knowledge and wisdom on everything from the passenger experience to technical operations", Scholl said. CNBC reported Boom's 45- to 55-seat jets will cost roughly $200 million each while a roundtrip business class ticket for a flight from London to NY would set passengers back about $5,000.

"Our goal is to develop an airliner that will be a great addition to any worldwide airline's fleet", Scholl said.

Boom would be the first passenger jet since the retirement of the Concord in October 2003.

The partnership also provides Japan Airlines the option to purchase as many as 20 Boom aircraft through a pre-order arrangement.

A file image of Her Majesty The Queen arriving in Kuwait by Concorde in 1979.