In what amounts to a vote of confidence in the future of supersonic technology, NetJets has revealed a purchase order for 20 Aerion AS2 business jets. With 760 aircraft, the Berkshire-Hathaway company owns the world’s largest fleet of business jets.
Aerion is currently building a new headquarters in Melbourne, Florida. The company plans to start production of the AS2 next year. Aerion said its order backlog is valued at more than $10 billion. Each AS2 has a price of $120 million. “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 CEO Tom Vice said in a statement.
Aerion and NetJets have also signed an exploratory agreement for NetJets to become the exclusive business jet partner for Aerion Connect, which Aerion describes as “urban and regional networks to provide a seamless point-to-point experience optimized for speed and luxury across multiple modes of transportation.”
“Our strategy is to connect the very best partners in the world within a new mobility ecosystem optimized for speed and founded on sustainability,” said Vice.
Adam Johnson, chairman and CEO of NetJets, said that becoming the exclusive business jet operator of Aerion Connect is “a thrilling next step” to its growth. “We will be exploring the integration of the AS2 supersonic business jet into NetJets’ global network, and we are honored to be their chosen partner to enable the Aerion Connect vision,” said Johnson.
Aerion said it will partner with Flight Safety International to develop a supersonic flight training academy for civil, commercial, and military supersonic aircraft.
Part of the partnership will involve increasing sustainability across the business-aviation sector. Aerion said the A2 will be powered by synthetic fuel and will reach supersonic speeds without the need of an after-burner. NetJets recently launched its Global Sustainability Program, which also calls for investing in sustainable aviation fuel along with other corporate and consumer offsetting programs.