JAL - Japan Airlines (JL, Tokyo Haneda) has announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Boom Technology (Denver Centennial) concerning the development and launch of a commercial supersonic aircraft.

Boom's yet-to-be-named jet will transport 45-55 passengers in a premium-class configuration at speeds of up to Mach 2.2 over a distance of 8,334 kilometres. Its EIS is estimated to be in the mid-2020s.

The Japanese carrier said in a statement that as part of the agreement, it had injected USD10 million into Boom and is also collaborating with the company to refine the design of the aircraft. It is also assisting in defining the passenger experience for supersonic travel.

As such, JAL also has the option to purchase up to twenty Boom aircraft through a pre-order arrangement.

“We’ve been working with Japan Airlines behind the scenes for over a year now,” Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic, said. “JAL’s passionate, visionary team offers decades of practical knowledge and wisdom on everything from the passenger experience to technical operations. We’re thrilled to be working with JAL to develop a reliable, easily-maintained aircraft that will provide revolutionary speed to passengers. Our goal is to develop an airliner that will be a great addition to any international airline’s fleet.”

As part of its own future transport development needs, rival carrier ANA - All Nippon Airways (NH, Tokyo Haneda) last year secured a 7% stake in PD Aerospace, a private Japanese firm that specializes in manned spacecraft development.

PD Aerospace aims to launch a reusable eight-seater spacecraft, propelled by an engine capable of switching between jet- and rocket-power depending on the environment, by 2023.