Boom is in the process of developing an aircraft called Overture, expected to be officially completed and released in 2025. Overture can travel at almost twice the speed of sound, and is designed to fit 65 to 80 passengers. While the company recently released a sophisticated version of the jet, Overture is still in the early development stages and has not yet run a test flight.
Overture, however, is not the first of its kind. The Concorde was a supersonic jet with routes across the Atlantic Ocean, primarily between London and New York City. In 2003, the ultra-speedy aircraft was forced to halt its services. With seat prices reaching a steep $10,000 per person, and deafening engines preventing the jet from flying over land, use of the Concorde was unsustainable. Although many have asserted that high-speed jets won’t make a comeback for these reasons, airlines seem confident enough in their return to be investing in them. Prior to the current American Airlines purchase, United Airlines had publicized its plans last year to buy up to 15 supersonic jets from Boom.
Despite previous economic failures of the aircrafts, the US government has shown support for bringing supersonic jets back and the FAA is devising new sets of code regarding noise levels over land. While Boom hopes its jets can begin running by 2029, the aircrafts and routes will need to be approved.
Although it is still unclear whether or not Overture will be approved for flying, the possibility is exciting. Many would love the opportunity to reach London from Miami in less than five hours, or to travel from Los Angeles to Honolulu in just three hours.
Only time will tell what the likelihood is for supersonic jets to fill the airspace…let alone the price tag!
The global travel industry may be reeling a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, but at least one industry stalwart appears to believe the industry will recover from the crisis, and sooner rather than later.
Monday, Jet Blue Airlines (NASDAQ: JBLU) announced it would offer Mint class service, a high-end cabin with semi-private seating, lie-flat beds and bedside tables and a 17-inch screen, on its upcoming service between the United States and London. The airline is planning to launch non-stop flights between London and John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, and from London to Boston’s Logan Airport before the end of 2021.
No decisions have been announced regarding an arrival/departure airport in London.
Jet Blue upended the domestic travel sector in 2014 by introducing Mint on non-stop flights between New York and San Francisco. The company later announced plans to include the luxury seating option on its Transatlantic routes but many industry analysists expected that uncertainty about the near-to-medium term outlook for the travel sector would cause the airline to shelve those plans, at least temporarily.
In October, McKinsey & Company, predicted that the blow to the global tourism sector could be far worse than previously thought, perhaps up to $8.1 trillion lower than initial predictions following the emergence and spread of the coronavirus last year.
Echoing the concerns, Yahoo!Finance said that international tourism dropped by 65% in the first half of 2020 and added that it could be 2024 before global travel returns to 2019 levels.
Despite the poor outlook, however, Jet Blue Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty told Bloomberg that the airline believes the travel industry will recover quickly once the pandemic is officially declared “over.”
“Demand changes quite quickly overnight when case counts come down and travel restrictions are lifted,” she said.
Beating out the world’s second-largest airport by over 6 million passengers, Dubai International Airport says it welcomed 86.4 million travelers during 2019. The world’s next in line is London’s Heathrow.
The middle east’s star airport was able to maintain its position despite closing one of its runways for repairs and the additional problem of Boeing’s 737 Max, further reducing the number of flights and people on them.
Dubai airport had fewer passengers overall in 2019, by 3% from 2018, accommodating a total of 89.1 million passengers. The decline in airport use is attributed to the three following issues: one of its runways was closed for about 6 weeks; India’s Jet Airways filed for bankruptcy; and the ban on flights of the Boeing 737 Max.
Last year marked the 6th year in which Dubai International Airport was ranked first for the number of international passengers flying through. The world’s busiest airport overall, however, is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Things really took off for Delta Airlines in 2019. The fourth quarter of last year was one of record earnings, surpassing expectations. They also flew by their competitors to become the world’s biggest airline.
One component of Delta’s success was the unfortunate story of the grounded Boeing 737 Max fleets, which only affected Delta’s competitors, American, United and Southwest, never having purchased those suspicious airplanes. As a result, Delta could grab 7.5% revenue growth, partially due to better efficiency. One important airline metric, revenue per available seat mile (RASM) was up by 2.4%.
When Delta is high, so are its employees. The company is going to pay its 90,000 workers their highest ever profit-sharing bonus: $1.6 billion. That comes out to about 16.66% of each employee’s yearly salary, or about 2 months’ worth of pay.
“2019 was the best year in our history,” CEO Ed Bastian said. “These results simply would not be possible without the incredible work of our Delta team.”
The company was smart as well as lucky in 2019. Avoiding the Boing 737 Max could have been a combination of luck and smarts; while avoiding angry labor disputes was certainly smart. Having good weather at their hubs, of course, is simple luck.
Some recent moves made my Harley-Davidson points in the direction of the company’s embrace of electric vehicles of the two-wheel variety. LiveWire and some other concepts indicate the iconic motorcycle company wants a piece of where the future lies in electric transportation.
Included in the future is the growing consumer appetite for renting their transportation rather than owning. H-D vice-president of product portfolio, Marc McAllister spoke on CNN business about the e-bike rental platform. McAllister said that the fast-growing e-bike platform is more of a commodity market place and H-D is exploring how it could offer its brand to customers in this type of platform.
The thought of Harley-Davidson, so well-known as the bike of choice for serious bikers, is considering a life in the world of cute little electric scooters, is a bit mind-bending. But the company has faced enormous pressure over the past few years in what has become a frighteningly competitive market for big bikes.
So, it’s not so surprising that the company has plans to introduce a naked motorcycle, an adventure tourer, and even a small-cap bike for consumers in places like India. The company is now working on launching a full-electric ecosystem for its LiveWire. It is likely that entrance into the e-scooter space will bring more riders to the bond with Harley.