Travel news: Supersonic jets and underground railways

Editor’s Note — Sign up for Unlocking the World, CNN Travel’s weekly newsletter. Get news about destinations opening and closing, inspiration for future adventures, plus the latest in aviation, food and drink, where to stay and other travel developments.

(CNN) — This week in travel, London opened a $25 billion new metro line, Bombardier announced a supersonic breakthrough for its super-fast jet, and America’s best beaches have been revealed.

Summer travel

This weekend is the Memorial Day holiday in the States — the unofficial start of summer — and more than 39 million people are expected to be traveling.
America’s top beach expert — a.k.a. “Dr. Beach” — has released his annual roundup of the best sandy stretches in the US. This year, the top spot goes to a wild expanse in North Carolina.
For those making plans farther afield, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added five new destinations to its “high” risk category for travelers, including the Bahamas.
But while travel is up, passengers are still being hit by flight delays and cancellations caused by staffing issues and other factors. Delta just became the latest airline to “strategically decrease” its flights for the months ahead, following JetBlue and Alaska Airlines.
It’s set to be a season of high prices and extra hassle. Here are some tips for saving on gas if you’re hitting the road this summer.

Riding the rails

Named after Queen Elizabeth II, Crossrail opened up in London on May 24 as The Elizabeth line. It connects East and West London like never before.

The Elizabeth line, London’s huge new underground railway, finally opened on May 24 — four years behind schedule. Large crowds of rail enthusiasts and excited locals turned out to catch the first trains in what is the biggest new development in the city’s rail network for half a century.
Elsewhere in rail news, the European Interrail pass turns 50 this year. The budget multi-country rail ticket, originally open to travelers under 21, opened up the continent to generations of young people and is still going strong today.

News from the sky

The in-development Global 8000 will have capacity for up to 19 passengers.

The in-development Global 8000 will have capacity for up to 19 passengers.

Canadian manufacturer Bombardier has announced that its upcoming Global 8000 plane, which it says will be “the world’s fastest and longest-range purpose-built business jet,” has gone supersonic in tests. The aircraft is expected to enter service in 2025.
Meanwhile a US-Spanish startup called Skydweller Aero is developing a solar-powered airplane capable of staying in the air for months at a time.
If you’re returning to flying post-Covid but are concerned about how to reduce your carbon footprint, we’ve put together this guide to more sustainable flying, from alternative fuels to rationing trips.

Erotic and ingenious developments in food

Boat that launched a thousand ships

Between 1970 and 1997, global numbers of cruise passengers jumped from 500,000 a year to 5 million. This leap, experts say, was down to the impact of one hit TV show: the glamorous world of “The Love Boat.”
Romance is also thriving at 37,000 feet. Last month, a couple got married on a Southwest plane after a canceled flight meant they wouldn’t make their date at a Vegas wedding chapel.
And back in 2018, a woman found herself sitting next to the “annoying guy” she’d encountered in the airport terminal. Then they fell in love.

Turkish delight

Deep in southeastern Turkey, the beautiful city of Mardin reflects thousands of years of history in the majestic architecture of its old buildings. Take a look at this ancient treasure trove.

In case you missed it

How do you land a plane in Antarctica?

In 2013, Anthony Bourdain realized his life-long dream of sailing down the Congo River.

Relive it now through the “Parts Unknown” podcast.

China is opening a very adult ice-cream store.

The future’s so bright…

I gotta wear shades. If you’re looking to update your sunglasses look this season, our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have rounded up 25 of the best styles on the market right now for men and women.

Source link

NetJets, Aerion Reach Supersonic Aircraft, Network Development Deal

Private aviation management company NetJets has signed an agreement to develop a global mobility platform for supersonic aviation technology company Aerion and, ultimately, to buy Aerion’s aircraft.

NetJets’ memorandum of understanding with Aerion includes a provision to buy 20 of its AS2 supersonic business jets capable of speeds up to 1,000 miles per hour, on which the company plans to begin production in 2023. Private aviation company Flexjet already had put an order in for the AS2 aircraft, and Aerion reports its global order backlog now stands at more than $10 billion with the NetJets agreement.

In addition, the companies are looking into making NetJets the exclusive business jet operator for a global mobility platform, Aerion Connect, that would “integrate multiple, currently siloed urban and regional networks and provide a seamless point-to-point travel experience,” according to Aerion.

The memorandum also includes an agreement with FlightSafety International, an aviation company that, like NetJets, is a Berkshire Hathaway company. Aerion will work with FSI to develop a supersonic flight training academy for civil, commercial and military aircraft.

“At Aerion, our vision is to build a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours, and this new partnership is a significant step towards realizing that vision,” Aerion chairman, president and CEO Tom Vice said in a statement. “Our strategy is to connect the very best partners in the world within a new mobility ecosystem optimized for speed and founded on sustainability.”

Aerion, one of several companies currently developing supersonic aircraft, last year completed wind tunnel validation of its AS2 aircraft and plans to manufacture 300 of them within the first decade of production from its Melbourne, Fla., headquarters. The aircraft has been designed with the ability to run entirely on synthetic fuels and reach supersonic speeds without an afterburner. The agreement also calls on NetJets and Aerion to work together on expanding global availability and adoption of synthetic fuels. 

Source link