Aerion is to collaborate with Berkshire Hathaway companies NetJets and FlightSafety International (FSI). This will include Aerion and NetJets exploring the latter becoming the exclusive business jet operator for Aerion Connect.
Aerion Connect is described as a vision for a future global mobility ecosystem. The intention is to integrate multiple, currently siloed urban and regional networks to provide a seamless point-to-point travel experience, optimised for speed and luxury across multiple modes of transportation.
“At Aerion our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours and this new partnership is a significant step towards realising that vision,” said Tom Vice, Aerion’s chairman, president and CEO. “Our strategy is to connect the very best partners in the world within a new mobility ecosystem optimised for speed and founded on sustainability. In NetJets and FlightSafety International we have two such partners; both globally recognised leaders in their fields who share our passion for a new era of mobility that is both fast and at the same time kind to our planet.”
“As the leader in private aviation, we constantly look for ways to be on the cutting edge and expanding our fleet to become the exclusive business jet operator for Aerion Connect is a thrilling next step,” said Adam Johnson, chairman and CEO of NetJets. “Together, we will be exploring the integration of the AS2 supersonic business jet into NetJets’ global network, and we are honoured to be their chosen partner to enable the Aerion Connect vision.”
In collaboration with aviation training specialist FSI, Aerion will develop an Aerion-branded flight training academy for civil, commercial and military supersonic aircraft.
“We’re excited to bring FSI’s signature passion for safety to Aerion’s training academy,” said Brad Thress, CEO of FSI. “This partnership marries Aerion’s innovation and our long-established experience, opening up new opportunities in the supersonic aircraft space and the future of the industry as a whole.”
Underlining the long-term focus of the partnership, NetJets has also obtained purchase rights for 20 AS2 supersonic business jets, which are due to enter production at Aerion Park in Melbourne, Florida, in 2023.
Aerion’s global order backlog for the AS2 is now valued at more than US$10bn. The AS2 is planned to be the first supersonic aircraft to enter commercial service in 51 years, and the world’s first supersonic business aircraft. It continues to advance towards manufacturing start after concluding wind tunnel validation late in 2020.
NetJets’ diverse jet offerings include more than 760 aircraft worldwide, 385 of which were delivered in the past 11 years. The company also recently launched its Global Sustainability Program, a worldwide commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of the brand and its owners, with a focus on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) investment, corporate and consumer offsetting.
Aerion and NetJets said they share a commitment to usher in a new era of sustainable flight that is kind to the planet and part of the solution to reverse climate change. As part of this agreement the two companies will work together on domestic and international actions intended to facilitate the global availability and broad adoption of synthetic aviation fuels.
The AS2 is designed to be powered by 100% engineered synthetic fuel and reach supersonic speeds without the need for an afterburner.
Aerion plans to manufacture 300 AS2 aircraft in the first decade of production. The AS2 will be the first aircraft assembled at Aerion Park. As well as the headquarters operations, the development will incorporate a campus for supersonic aircraft research, design, building and maintenance.