JAL invests heavily in supersonic Boom

An artist's impression shows Boom's 55-seat supersonic aircraft and Boom's XB-1 supersonic demonstrator in this undated handout obtained by Reuters

Boom Supersonic, the jet startup which is working with Richard Branson to build a Concorde-style passenger plane, has received a $10m (£7.5m) boost from Japan Airlines.

Boom's idea is to build a 45 - 55 seat aircraft that cruises at Mach 2.2 (1,451 mph), making it capable of whisking passengers between NY and London in about three hours.

Boom Supersonic is a Denver-based company dedicated to removing the barriers to experiencing the planet, starting by building a Mach-2.2 airliner economical enough to operate with business-class fares. 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.

Last year Branson teamed up with the startup to reveal its prototype jet, which will carry passengers from London to NY in three and a half hours for an "affordable" $5,000 return.

"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".

The US firm says seats from London to NY will cost $5,000 return.

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

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There are also options for 46 more aircraft from unidentified customers. "JAL's passionate, visionary team offers decades of practical knowledge and wisdom on everything from the passenger experience to technical operations".

Boom reportedly has 76 preorders, not including the option of 20 aircraft from Japan Airlines, for its plane that would travel at Mach 2.2, over two times the speed of sound and faster than the Concorde, which maxed out at around Mach 2. The Franco-British jet traveled at twice the speed of sound, crossing the Atlantic in just three and a half hours.

Thanks to the terms of their strategic partnership, JAL will have a say as well as being "directly involved" in how several important parts of the program end up shaping up.

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

Branson has the rights to the first 10 Boom aircraft produced.

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

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