Ctrip, the leading Chinese travel service provider of accommodation reservation, and Boom Supersonic, the leading airplane developer, “are working together to bring supersonic flight to China”, according to a press release in Shangai from Ctrip.
Ctrip will help Boom accelerate its ongoing partnership efforts with airlines in China.
The press release added that Ctrip is uniquely positioned to help Boom navigate the Chinese airline industry. Additionally, the Denver base Boom will help Ctrip to explore offering its customers 10–15 seats on one of Boom’s first several supersonic commercial flights.
Together, the two companies are working to make the world more accessible by halving flight times from China to the United States, South Asia, and Oceania.
Experts say that a commercial flight that currently lasts 12 hours could be shortened to around six hours on a supersonic aircraft. Boom Supersonic claims that faster travel make the world becomes twice as small, turning far off lands into familiar neighbors.
Boom is building a supersonic airliner capable of carrying 55 premium passengers at Mach 2.2 (2,335 km/hour or 1,451 miles/hour), more than twice as fast as current passenger airplanes at the same cost as today’s business class fares.
In 2017 researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences say they have tested a scaled-down model of the hypersonic jet in a wind tunnel, where it reached a top speed of 5,343mph.
As part of a separate enterprise, aircraft manufacturer Boeing is working with Lockheed Martin to develop another hypersonic aircraft, but details on the project are sparse.
According to Boom Supersonic CEO, Blake Scholl, a prototype of its plane will be in the sky as early as the end of 2018.
Furthermore, he says, the company has already received more than 70 offers, from five different (unidentified) carriers, for an aircraft that could be in commercial service by the middle of the next decade.