Japan Airlines (JAL) has turned to the company Boom Supersonic in order to create a strategic partnership that focuses on the special Mach 2+ airline development. Japan Airlines made headlines this week for their plan to purchase up to 20 of the aircraft. 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. Japan Airlines will be joining Virgin Atlantic as the second major carrier to sign on with Boom Supersonic. Boom Supersonic is based out of Denver, CO and is trying to make their big splash in the industry by 2020. So far, Boom has received 76 options from carriers around the world and there are three unnamed companies picking up the remaining unlisted 46 options.
The reason that Boom Supersonic is making headlines is because of their decision to try and completely change the commercial flight market. Boom is trying to bring supersonic travel to business-class level customers. Their focus has been on designing a 55-seat plane that utilizes advanced aerodynamics as well as special propulsion technology. Recent technological developments in the supersonic field are markedly increased since the ’60s when Anglo-French Concorde released the first supersonic airliner. Boom’s own jet will allegedly achieve higher speed and more efficient routes by spending the majority of its time over water.
Japan Airlines is not only signing up for 20 jets but they are also placing a hefty investment into Boom Supersonic to the tune of $10 million. Blake Scholl is the founder of Boom Technology and he says, “This is the first time in history an airline has put real cash into a supersonic transport program, and to us, it is a commitment and a demonstration that the customer interest is real.”
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. Scholl goes on to say, “You really want to have a customer voice in the development program.” Scholl continues on by explaining that JAL will be tasked with helping to “define” the way by which the aircraft operating model will function as well as some of the key aspects of the interior design and layout. Scholl concludes by saying, “JAL has set a high customer bar and has deep operational experience, every customer wants to have a voice.”