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It’s been nearly 20 years since a commercial supersonic jet has flown, and there has never been a business one. But that’s all about to change. NetJets, the largest private aviation company globally, recently obtained purchase rights for 20 AS2 supersonic business jets.
This is a major announcement in the aviation industry as it will be the first supersonic aircraft to enter commercial service in 51 years and the world’s first supersonic business aircraft. It will also be the first supersonic aircraft to be powered entirely by engineered synthetic fuel. That means it can hit those sound barrier-breaking speeds without the need for an afterburner.
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While production won’t start until 2023 on the jets, the announcement marks a significant shift in private travel as we know it. Aerion is also collaborating with FlightSafety International, a professional aviation training company, to develop a supersonic flight training academy. So, even more, jets could take to the skies and cut down on travel time. It’s estimated a flight from New York to London could take as little as four hours on the new jet.
“At Aerion, our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours, and this new partnership is a significant step towards realizing that vision,” Aerion’s Chairman, president & CEO, Tom Vice, told Departures in a statement.
NetJets has always looked for ways to expand its luxe offerings. Classic offerings include inflight cuisine and personalized food and beverage choices while onboard, plus special access to concerts, motorsports, food and wine events, arts, and more once on the ground. Even pets are treated to first-class amenities like organic food. The team will even set up a movie night for the youngest passengers.
“As the leader in private aviation, we constantly look for ways to be on the cutting-edge,” said Adam Johnson, chairman and CEO of NetJets Inc. “And expanding our fleet to become the exclusive business jet operator for Aerion Connect is a thrilling next step.”