Boom gets $10m boost from Japan to get superjet off the ground


The Concorde, flown by British Airways and Air France at twice the speed of sound, retired in 2003 after nearly three decades in service as customers abandoned the jets amid declining economies and maintenance costs to keep them flying soared.

"We're thrilled to be working with JAL to develop a reliable, easily-maintained aircraft that will provide revolutionary speed to passengers", Boom's chief executive Blake Scholl said. "JAL doesn't put $10 million around without thinking really hard about it".

Where were you 14 years ago when Concorde took its final flight? "It will cost about the same as flying business class today". Its retirement was also hastened by a crash in 2000 that killed 113 people. The XB-1, "baby boom" as it is nicknamed, will apparently be faster, quieter and more profitable than Concorde ever was. "The two companies will cooperate closely to realize faster and more convenient air travel", the companies' announcement said. Boom's aircraft is expected to enter service in the mid-2020s.

As of March 2017, Boom had raised about $41 million in funding.

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By then, however, there could be room in the aviation market for even faster commercial jets.

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Virgin entered into a $2 billion partnership with Boom previous year, and at least five airlines have signed on to purchase a total of 76 supersonic jets.

Scholl acknowledged that JAL is the first airline to place appreciable dollars behind its interest in the aircraft, which would fly at more than twice the speed of sound.

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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. JAL and rival All Nippon Airways, were among the first to purchase Boeing's 787 Dreamliner back in 2004, a major boost to the program.

Japan Air, also known as JAL, will provide its knowledge and experience as an airline to support Boom in developing the aircraft, the company said.

Boom claims to have cracked the supersonic code, planning an initial list price of $200m per aircraft, with orders envisaged at 1,000 by 2035. Supersonic flight is banned over Europe and the United States.

A flight between Sydney and Los Angeles would take seven hours, which includes the time required for a refuelling stop enroute.

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