Dubai boldly brands itself as “The Future City,” with space age architecture, next-level tech hubs, and paradigm-shifting transportation systems so it’s only fitting that the resurgence of supersonic travel could find a home amid all the other next-gen innovations here.
Boom’s founder and CEO Blake Scholl outlined the company’s plans for the audience, which included the potential for flights from Dubai to London in under five hours at the same cost of a first-class seat on any other airline by 2023.
Scholl was invited to give his pitch by the Dubai Future Accelerators, an initiative within the larger Dubai Future Foundation that promotes government sponsorship of future-forward projects. The group had a hand in similar new-age transportation deals that brought Tesla and Hyperloop One to the city.
Boom aims to modernize the 50-year-old supersonic systems originated by the now-defunct Concorde, promising 55-seat jets that fly at Mach 2.2 speeds (1,451 mph). Concorde’s service never really took off because of its outlandish cost seats could be as expensive as $20,000 a pop but Boom aims for a more “accessible” $5,000 price.
The startup received its first major round of funding back in March, and has reportedly secured reservations for 25 of the $200 million jets from Branson’s Virgin Airlines and other unnamed buyers. The first prototype of the craft, dubbed “Baby Boom,” is expected to be ready for flight next year.
Scholl reportedly wouldn’t confirm or deny questions about plans with Middle Eastern airlines, like Emirates or Qatar Airways, but said he’s “open to meetings with all interested parties.”
If Boom does wind up serving Dubai, it would be just the latest aviation innovation to stake out part of the city’s airspace. Earlier this year, the city’s Roads & Transportation Agency revealed plans for an air taxi service to be in place by this summer, and the city is one of two localities where Uber will partner as part of its Elevate project for flying cars.