Japan Airlines (JAL) has agreed to collaborate with Boom Supersonic in developing the first supersonic commercial airliner since the Concorde.

Under the strategic partnership, JAL has invested $10 million in the Denver-based startup. JAL also has an option to purchase up to 20 Boom aircraft.

Boom is targeting 2023 for the launch of a 42- to 50-seat commercial aircraft that will travel as fast as Mach 2.2, or 1,451 mph, cutting flight times approximately in half. No airline has flown at supersonic speed since British Airways and Air France took the Concorde out of service in 2003.

JAL joins the Virgin Group as a confirmed partner of Boom. Virgin has an option on Boom's first 10 airframes and agreed in 2016 to provide engineering and manufacturing services, along with flight-test support and operation, for the venture. Boom also says it has taken a total of 46 additional aircraft orders from three undisclosed airlines.

Boom CEO Blake Scholl said that his company has been working with JAL behind the scenes for more than a year. Under the agreement, JAL is collaborating with Boom to refine aircraft design and to "help define the passenger experience for supersonic travel," the companies said.

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