Flexjet has placed a firm order with Aerion for the delivery of 20 AS2 supersonic business jets.
Aerion opened its order book earlier in June 2015, pricing the aircraft at $120 million.
Corporate Jet Investor understands that Flexjet has paid a deposit that remains fully refundable until the formal launch of the program.
At list prices the firm order would be worth $2.4 billion. However the company has previously stated that the first 50 orders would receive preferential pricing.
Aerion are currently looking for a production site for the AS2. It is expected to announce the the location in the first half of 2016, at which point the aircraft will be formally launched.
“The Aerion AS2 is a genuine game-changer for international travel, providing the world’s only commercially available supersonic transportation, enabling travelers to have breakfast with their family in New York, enjoy a business lunch in London and be back home to help their children with their homework,” said Michael Silvestro, CEO, Flexjet. “The Aerion AS2, together with our Global Access international program, will accelerate our evolution towards becoming the world leader in providing long-range private jet travel.”
The company recently ramped up activity with the appointment of Sean McGeough as regional vice president for the northeast US, and Ernie Edwards as chief commercial officer.
McGeough was previously president and CEO of Nextant Aerospace, who are also owned by Flexjet’s owner, Directional Aviation Capital. Edwards joined from Embraer Executive Jets, where he was president of the company.
“Throughout its history, Flexjet has been on the leading edge of aviation technology, introducing the best in performance, convenience and high-end capabilities to our aircraft Owners,” said Kenn Ricci, chairman, Flexjet. “Today, we are proud to make the next great step in business jet travel and offer what will be the first commercial supersonic flights in a generation.”
Aerion are working towards the first flight of the AS2 in 2021, with certification and entry into service following in 2023.