Japan Airlines is putting US$10 million towards bringing supersonic flights back with Denver aviation startup ‘Boom Supersonic.’

Japan Airlines says it hopes the Denver-based upstart will successfully develop a plane that could cut flight times in half with cruising speeds of Mach 2.2 — more than 1,450 miles an hour and 2.6x faster than other airliners.

That would reduce the flight time from Sydney to Los Angeles for example to a much quicker six and three-quarter hours versus the current thirteen and three-quarters.

That’s a saving of 7 hours. And the cost? US$3500 each way (AUD$4615) – because as they say, time is money after all.

Japan Airlines has options to buy up to 20 Boom aircraft with Virgin Group founder Richard Branson also announcing last year that his company also had options on the first 10 Boom jets.

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“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.”

Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic

JAL’s $10 million investment in Boom is but a small one in the aviation world but shows their willingness to bet on a startup for future aircraft. But the promise of supersonic offers what Japan Airlines and at least several others could consider a more valuable luxury: travellers’ time.

Both Airbus and Boeing who dominate the market continue to forge ahead in long-range aircraft innovation with their A350 and 777/x planes. But even though their newer planes promise fuel savings and direct routes, they do little to save travellers much time.

Which ultimately is most travellers (and especially business travellers) top priority.

 

Hear the Boom story

Japan Airlines will also be offering their commercial airline experience to help make Boom a reality. Under the agreement, the airline will help “refine” the aircraft’s design and help determine what it would be like for passengers on board a supersonic jet.

Boom’s jets will also be an all-business-class configuration, making it more economical than Concorde previously was.

Boom is planning to test its designs on a one-third scale”Baby Boom” plane towards the end of 2018 and is expecting the planes to be delivered by the mid-2020s.

What do you think about the return of Supersonic flights?