Japan Airlines invests $10M in supersonic plane
Japan Airlines made $10 million investment in Boom Technologies, a Denver-based startup that is developing a new-generation supersonic aircraft, which is expected to cut flight times in half. Two companies announced their partnership on December 5, 2017, claiming that their cooperation will “bring commercial supersonic travel to passengers. ”
Under the agreement, JAL will be collaborating with Boom Technologies to refine the aircraft design. Also, JAL has an option to purchase up to 20 Boom aircraft through a pre-order arrangement.
“We're thrilled to be working with JAL to develop a reliable, easily-maintained aircraft that will provide revolutionary speed to passengers, ” CEO of Boom Supersonic Blake Scholl said in an official statement. “Our goal is to develop an airliner that will be a great addition to any international airline's fleet.”
According to the developers, the supersonic plane will fly at Mach 2.2 and will be 2.6 times faster than a regular aircraft. Thus, a flight from San Francisco to Tokyo, which usually takes 11 hours, will last 5 hours and 30 minutes, costing an “affordable” price of $3,250 per seat. The airliner will be able to carry 55 passengers.
In November 2016, Boom Technology unveiled the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, a subscale prototype of the Boom supersonic passenger airliner. The pilot test of the Demonstrator is scheduled for 2018, and it is expected that the Boom supersonic passenger airliner will come into service in 2023, Blake Scholl said at a press conference at the Dubai Airshow 2017.
Scholl's business plan estimates a market for 1,000 to 2,000 Boom aircraft over the next 10 years. Boom chief executive already has 76 pre-orders from the airlines. Although the names of the customers were not revealed to the public, it is known that Virgin Atlantic Airways is working jointly with Boom Technologies on the Supersonic plane and holds options to purchase the first 10 Boom jets.
President of Japan Airlines Yoshiharu Ueki said that through the partnership with Boom Technologies the carrier “hopes to contribute to the future of supersonic travel with the intent of providing more “time” to our valued passengers while emphasizing flight safety.”