Boeing and Spirit Refuse to Take Supersonic Gamble for Post-COVID-19 Recovery, Says GlobalData

June 19, 2020

Following the news that Boeing and Spirit Aerosystem were dismantling engineering teams working on the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet;

Nicolas Jouan, Aerospace and Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the decision;

“Boeing and Spirit Aerosystem’s decision to seemingly abandon their Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet program may be hasty as even if commercial airlines suffer from a lack of demand from the general population of travelers, it is likely that high-end business travel will recover as soon as the global economy restarts. Supersonic business jets, unbothered by new social distancing regulations and cheap oil prices, could be a rare glimpse of hope in the commercial aviation industry.

“However, Boeing and Spirit have more pressing issues related to a shortage of cash rendering them risk averse. Boeing’s messy withdrawal from a deal with Embraer earlier this year and possible agreement with the Treasury to get federal help suggest that the plane maker does not have a dollar to spare. The AS2 is therefore the latest victim of this complex situation.

“Boeing and Spirit have already laid off part of their workforce in order to readjust commercial production and meet declining demand from airlines and leasing companies. These layoffs primarily touched Boeing’s Puget Sound facility near Seattle, where most assembly lines have already been trimmed, and Spirit’s staff working on the B737 MAX program in Wichita.”