Spike: more than 13 million passengers could fly supersonic annually


Spike Aerospace CEO Vik Kachoria says that that more than 13 million people a year could travel by supersonic aircraft when flights begin in 2025.

“While supersonic aircraft might be ushered in by the wealthy, they will ultimately benefit anyone who wants and needs to get to their destinations faster,” Kachoria added. “This is going to make the world smaller and easier to access, so passengers can personally experience and enjoy all the world offers.”

To forecast demand for supersonic air travel, Spike Aerospace analyzed the flight routes taken by the four billion global passengers that flew in 2017 – 11 million passengers per day on more than 150,000 flights.

Information on origin/destinations, distances traveled, types of passengers, cabin class and airlines was studied to identify opportunity and potential demand. Of particular interest were long-distance flights where supersonic speeds provide the most value.

The analysis revealed that more than 650 million passengers flew long-haul, non-stop, international flights between 2,000-7,000 miles (3,000-13,000km) last year. Premium passengers (business and first class) totaled 72 million, or 11.2% of those seats – and this is expected to grow to more than 128 million by 2025. The company believes the first Spike S-512 supersonic jets will be available for airlines to offer to a potential market of more than 13 million passengers annually.

“Passengers travel for lots of reasons, personal and business, but everyone wants to get there in the shortest amount of time possible for a reasonable fare,” said Kachoria. The company believes faster, more efficient and quieter supersonic flight should be possible by the mid 2020s.

“This aircraft will actually create demand. It’s not just going to address existing demand,” said Tom Captain, an aviation-industry veteran who recently joined the company as an executive advisor.

Boston, Massachusetts-based Spike Aerospace leads a global collaboration of aerospace firms in the development of the world’s first quiet supersonic jet, the Spike S-512. This is to meet market demand for quiet supersonic air travel.

The 18-passenger jet will fly at Mach 1.6. A larger 40-50-passenger supersonic jet is in early stages of design. The company is in advanced discussions with airlines, private customers and leasing operators for both aircraft.

March 27, 2018

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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