Private flyers want supersonic business jets over jet sharing

By Doug Gollan, November 26, 2020

Breaking the speed of sound is the top desire for private jet travelers surveyed by Business Jet Traveler

Respondents to Business Jet Traveler’s Readers’ Choice 2020 Survey want to break the sound barrier.

In the publication’s annual poll, 29% of respondents said they are most interested in supersonic business jets. That could bode well for Flexjet, the launch fleet customer of Aerion’s supersonic private jet, currently under development.

The new faster jet will cut flight time from New York to London to just over four hours. Travel time from London to Grand Cayman will drop to five-and-a-half hours.

The AS2 is expected to accommodate eight-to-10 passengers and cruise at Mach 1.4 overwater and sparsely populated areas. Where a supersonic flight is prohibited, it will operate at Mach 0.95.

Current specifications call for a cabin height of 6 feet, 4 inches, with a cabin width of nearly 8 feet. Cabin length is about three feet longer than a Bombardier Challenger 350.

Flexjet said it has firm orders and options for 20 AS2s. The fast private jet could arrive by as early as 2025.

Jet sharing

Beyond wanting to break the sound barrier, 22% of readers wanted “widely available per-seat charter.” That appears to position XO, Wheels Up, Jet Linx, Blade, and JSX well. They all offer some variance of shared private flights or scheduled flights operating from private aviation facilities.

Nearly one in five (19%) of respondents want “widely available all-you-can-fly (flat fee) charter between popular city pairs.” While PrivateFly offers flat fee city-pair flights, Surf Air is one of the only if not the only options offering an all-you-can-fly membership option.

Despite billions of investments and hundreds of concepts, only 13% said they are awaiting “widely available eVTOLs, Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing Aircraft.

Just 9% expressed an interest in flying cars, driving on a highway after you land. That was still more than the 8% who want to see space travel available to the public, perhaps not a good sign for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

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