Japan Airlines invests $10 million in supersonic jet company Boom

Japan Airlines invests $10 million in supersonic jet company Boom

Virgin Atlantic, Sir Richard Branson's airline, has an option for 10 of the aircraft.

Denver-based Boom is developing a 55-seat passenger plane, created to fly at Mach 2.2, over twice the speed of sound, and slightly faster than the only previous supersonic airliner to enter widespread commercial service, Concorde.

Boom Supersonic had been secretly working with JAL for more than a year to understand more about the dynamics of commercial flight operations, founder and chief executive officer Blake Scholl said.

"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 emphasising flight safety". Boom had already raised about $41m in funding up to March 2017 from a bevvy of VCs and claimed in June to have a total order bill for 76 aircraft. However, it's understandable why JAL would be willing to take a chance on Boom so soon. Airlines who get in line early for all-new jets can benefit from intimate involvement in the design process, giving their wish list for features they think will please passengers, pilots, flight attendants and maintenance crews.

The partnership with Japan Airlines and the hefty financial backing the company has received show there's some faith in the project's commercial viability.

Japan Airlines said Tuesday it had invested $10 million in US airline company Boom Supersonic to help revive supersonic flights that could cut journey times in half.

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JAL is not the first business to back Boom.

The Japanese archipelago is among the most attractive areas for supersonic flying because planes don't have to travel over very much land to reach big cities.

At twice the speed of sound, a flight between San Francisco and Tokyo would take around five and a half hours, including a stop for fuel along the way, Scholl said.

The speed isn't just attractive for intercontinental flights, Scholl said.

The Concorde, which was made by predecessors to BAE Systems and Airbus, was retired in 2003 in part because it wasn't able to turn a profit, and Air Lease (AL) CEO John Plueger said in June that it's hard to see airlines investing in the technology in the next 15 to 20 years due to cost concerns.

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