Flexjet LLC announced at the National Business Aviation Association’s Convention & Exposition (NBAA2015) that it has placed a firm order for 20 of Aerion Corp.’s AS2 aircraft. Flexjet becomes the first fleet provider of private travel to commit to purchasing the first supersonic business jet. Flexjet will offer the world’s first publicly available supersonic transport since commercial airline supersonic crossings ended service in 2003.
“The Aerion AS2, together with our Global Access international program, will accelerate our evolution towards becoming the world leader in providing long-range private jet travel.”
The announcement of the Aerion order comes as Flexjet emerges as a leader in innovative international travel programs. Through its membership offering – Global Access – Flexjet rewards those that purchase a membership in the program by matching them with the best long-range aircraft for their mission, and employing a first of its kind dynamic pricing model. The program has been well received by intercontinental travelers who appreciate the additional flexibility, increased access and economic efficiencies that Global Access provides.
The forthcoming availability of supersonic service, together with Global Access’ industry-first dynamic pricing approach to long-distance travel, is further evidence of Flexjet’s commitment to becoming the premier provider of intercontinental private jet travel.
“Throughout its history, Flexjet has been on the leading edge of aviation technology, introducing the best in performance, convenience and high-end capabilities to our aircraft Owners. Today, we are proud to make the next great step in business jet travel and offer what will be the first commercial supersonic flights in a generation,” said Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci.
The Aerion AS2 business jet will have a top speed of Mach 1.5, which is 67 percent faster than the top cruise speeds of current or anticipated long-range subsonic jets. Carrying eight to 12 passengers, the AS2 will have an intercontinental-capable range of 4,750 nautical miles at supersonic speed, saving three hours across the Atlantic versus subsonic aircraft and more than six hours on longer trans-Pacific routes. The three-engine jet, now under development by Aerion in collaboration with Airbus Group, is expected to make its first flight in 2021 and enter service in 2023.
Aerion and Flexjet will work together to design stunning, unique interiors for the AS2, continuing the tradition of premium interiors such as those in Flexjet’s recently launched Red Label fleet. Flexjet anticipates that many customers will use the AS2 in combination with other large-cabin Flexjet aircraft used for long-distance travel, such as Bombardier’s Global Express and the Gulfstream G450, G500 and G650, taking advantage of the AS2’s speed to meet especially demanding travel schedules, including intercontinental round trips in a single day.
“The Aerion AS2 is a genuine game-changer for international travel, providing the world’s only commercially available supersonic transportation, enabling travelers to have breakfast with their family in New York, enjoy a business lunch in London and be back home to help their children with their homework,” said Michael Silvestro, Flexjet’s Chief Executive Officer. “The Aerion AS2, together with our Global Access international program, will accelerate our evolution towards becoming the world leader in providing long-range private jet travel.”