Ctrip’s supersonic strategy
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Ctrip’s supersonic strategy

Not since the days of Concord (which last flew in 2003) has supersonic flight been available for commercial passengers. One company, Boom Supersonic, is looking to change that, and wants to bring super-speed travel back into the mainstream. Chinese online travel giant Ctrip is more than interested.

Ctrip recently revealed that it had made a “strategic investment” in the company, the proceeds of which will go towards developing its Mach-2.2 aircraft. The appeal of Boom’s work for Ctrip is obvious: supersonic flight would decrease a major barrier in getting people between continents.

Ctrip’s share price has edged up over the last five days

graph 0405 ctrip

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

The two companies will offer one another assistance in the Chinese air travel space – Ctrip will help Boom accelerate its “ongoing partnership efforts with airlines in China,” while Boom will “help Ctrip explore offering its custoemrs 10 – 15 seats on one of Boom’s first supersonic commercial flights.”

Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl, commented: “Ctrip offers valuable expertise in the Chinese travel market, and we’re excited to work with their passionate, entrepreneurial team to bring supersonic travel to the region. San Francisco to Shanghai, for example, could shrink from 11 hours to six – and a typical round-trip itinerary can be accomplished two whole days faster."

“But the benefits of faster travel extend far beyond the time savings. What really matters are the new trips you choose to take – the ones you otherwise wouldn’t have considered because the journey was simply too long. When we fly twice as fast, the world becomes twice as small, turning far off lands into familiar neighbours.”

James Liang, Ctrip’s co-founder and executive chairman, added: "As a leading innovator in the commercial aviation industry, Boom will be positioned to provide exciting premium global flight options for Ctrip users and Ctrip is making a strategic investment in the next generation of travel. In addition, Ctrip’s unrivalled expertise in the business-travel market will help Boom to further deepen its relationships with Chinese airlines.”

Boom’s supersonic aircraft will be capable of carrying 55 passengers at speeds of Mach-2.2 – “more than twice as fast as current passenger planes” – at a cost that is roughly equivalent to business class airfares.


Dominion holds Ctrip in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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