Skift Take

Richard Branson has a history of making bold predictions that don't turn out quite right. If – and it's a big if – supersonic jet travel makes a comeback, commercially viable flights are decades away.

Supersonic jetliner travel, which ended more than a decade ago with the Concorde, will make a comeback and transform the aviation industry in coming years, according to billionaire Richard Branson.

“The next big thing, hopefully in my lifetime, will be supersonic travel coming back and people traveling around the world in next to no time,” Branson told Bloomberg Television in an interview in Washington Tuesday. “And hopefully in a relatively environmentally friendly way.”

Branson’s Virgin Galactic is already working with Boom Technology Inc. on its supersonic jet, and Japan Airlines Co. in December took an option to buy as many as 20 of the aircraft from the Colorado startup.

Boom is planning to build a 45- to 55-seat aircraft that cruises at Mach 2.2 (about 1,500 miles per hour) — capable of whisking passengers between New York and London in about three hours. The Concorde, flown by British Airways and Air France, retired in 2003 after almost three decades in service as customers, weighed down by hefty operating costs, abandoned the jets.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

This article was written by Angus Whitley and Jason Kelly from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

November 16, 2022
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX and Online
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Tags: concorde, richard branson, virgin group

Photo credit: Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. The business magnate is predicts supersonic jet travel will make a comeback. Bloomberg