If you thought a $15,000 first-class ticket was expensive, how would you feel about shelling out for a $430k flight?
Sounds like an awful lot of money, but if it meant travelling from England to Australia in just two hours, it’s likely to appeal to the rich and famous.
This isn’t just a pie-in-the-sky idea, either – according to research from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), it could soon well happen.
READ MORE! Woman shows what flying on $15,000 first-class ticket is really like
The CAA believes that air travel of the future will see passengers jetted up out of the atmosphere in a way that will radically cut flight times.
If it happens – and the CAA believes it will within the next decade – then a flight from London to Sydney will take two hours, rather than the day that it currently takes.
Currently, the quickest you can fly from London to Sydney is 22 hours, although Qantas is aiming to get that down to 19 hours by introducing a direct route by 2025.
While a two-hour flight to the other side of the world sounds appealing, it doesn’t come without drawbacks.
One potential snag is the impact it will have on the bodies of passengers, who won’t necessarily be as physically fit as astronauts.
That being said, research has found that the majority of people could take the G-forces required for suborbital space flights.
Surprisingly, older passengers actually handle the strain better than younger people.
Then there’s the environmental impact of getting a large aircraft up out of the atmosphere, which will almost certainly be far greater than a typical flight.
Smaller planes, with more seats onboard per passenger, emit far less than faster, smaller forms of air travel such as Concorde.
Health and environmental impacts aside, the $430,000 price tag for the service when it launches is more than enough to price the vast majority of people out of the equation.
It’s expected that the cost should come down over time, though.