PHOENIX, AZ – Regional carrier Mesa Airlines is placing a big bet on supersonic air travel through a new agreement to purchase several planes from Boom Jets.
Jonathan Ornstein, CEO of Mesa Airlines walked into the Fairfield Inn & Suites conference room for a presser. The short notice on the press conference suggested some news was afoot with the regional carrier, but reporters were shocked when the top executive at the carrier entered the room wearing a zip-up sweatshirt and some open-toed sandals.
“Today is an exciting announcement for the entire Mesa family.” he began. “There’s no other regional carrier in the world that’s done what we are about to do.”
An aide then wheeled in a tube television reminiscent of an elementary school TV and quickly inserted a VHS tape into an old VCR.
“….which is what makes this technology so impressive. After years of…” the tape started.
“You’ve got to rewind that back to the front,” Ornstein instructed. He did his best to wait patiently as an FBI warning not to copy the video. Then, an introductory video to Boom, the supersonic commercial jet manufacturer, began playing. At its completion, Ornstein spoke again.
“We’re the first regional carrier in the world to offer supersonic flight.” He unzipped his sweatshirt to reveal a Boom Technologies t-shirt as cameras snapped.
During a question and answer period, Mesa staff members addressed those in attendance covering everything from paint scheme and seating configuration to destinations served. Ornstein rebuffed questions as to whether it was the right fit given the shorter segments of many of the flights.
“You take a route like Dallas-Fort Worth to Columbia, Missouri. What’s really holding that market back is a fascination with flying again, and the ability to serve it with more regular service.” Nancy Dimlit, VP of Network Planning said.
“The other thing and this is really important, is that we can bring back the milk run. See it won’t take that much time between flights so being able to stop first in Columbia, then Peoria [Illinois], Des Moines [Iowa], Omaha [Nebraska], Kansas City [Missouri], and Tulsa [Oklahoma] before returning to Dallas-Fort Worth, all inside of three hours,” she added.
A reporter then asked if a Dallas-bound passenger from Peoria would have to run through the other four stops before arriving in Dallas, and this was greeted with enthusiasm by Dale Pinkerton, President of Customer Experience. “What an amazing experience to be able to go supersonic that many times in the same day, and with only a slightly longer flight time than flying direct.”
A TTN poll found that just 4% of respondents thought this would make them want to travel with the carrier more, while 36% said it would make them reconsider driving. Mesa plans to start with an order of (4) Boom aircraft with an option for (1) additional airframe with deliveries beginning in 2042.