Supersonic Business Jet Sales Climbing at Aerion
Aerion announced in London today that it has received commitments covering at least 20 of its proposed $80 million supersonic business jets (SSBJ) since it started signing letters of intent with prospective customers last month. The letters of intent come from 20 different clients in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America; operators committing to the program most recently include Pakistan-based executive charter firm Princely Jets and an undisclosed customer from India. Despite these sales gains, Aerion vice chairman Brian Barents said it might now take until the end of next year to conclude a production agreement with one of several possible OEM partners. The company had previously indicated that it might reach this stage by the middle of next year, but insists that this will not compromise the rest of its projected timetable, which calls for a program launch in the second quarter of 2009, first flight in the second quarter of 2012 and service entry by the end of 2014.