Dubai's Emirates responds to reports it is in talks with supersonic airliner

Airline engages in talks with aircraft manufacturers on innovative technology
Dubai's Emirates responds to reports it is in talks with supersonic airliner
By Parag Deulgaonkar
Mon 01 May 2017 08:25 AM

Dubai-based Emirates has ruled out plans to invest in a supersonic aircraft, according to a company spokesperson.

Last week, US-based Bloom Technology founder and chief executive Blake Scholl was in the emirate to give a presentation of his XB-1 supersonic aircraft, but refused to comment on whether Gulf airlines were looking to buy the jetliner.

In a statement sent to Arabian Business, an Emirates spokesperson said: “Emirates is continuously engaged in dialogue with aircraft manufacturers around increased aircraft efficiencies and innovative technology. We can confirm that there are no immediate plans for investment in supersonic aircraft.”

Etihad Airways did not respond to queries on whether it plans to buy the supersonic airliner.

The 55-seater XB-1, which will fly at an altitude of 60,000 feet, will reduce flying time from Dubai to London or Abu Dhabi to Sydney by half. Passengers will reach London or Sydney in about four and eight hours, respectively. The jet will be 10 percent faster than the now defunct Concorde, reaching Mach 2.2 or 2,335 kilometre per hour. The prototype is under construction and first passenger flights are expected to begin by 2023.

At present, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has the option to buy the first 10 plane bodies produced by the company with another 15 reserved for an unnamed European airline. Each jet is priced at $200 million.

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