New York To Tokyo In Under An Hour? Sure, Says Virgin Galactic’s Billionaire Branson

Because he’s got piles of money to sit around on and think about such things, billionaire Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson says there could be a day when people are able to fly commercially from New York to Tokyo in an hour. We’re all gonna be astronauts!

While you could not pay me enough money to get involved in anything remotely resembling Gravity, Branson predicts that transcontinental air travel will be an everyday option at some point soon(ish).

“If we get it right, New York to Tokyo could be less than an hour,” Branson told CNBC’s “Squawk Box”. “You could be traveling at 19,000 miles per hour orbitally.”

That’s his next goal after he finishes up his current Virgin Galactic space effort. He says he’s hoping to bring supersonic commercial air travel to the masses that will make the Concorde seem like the sloth of the skies. That recently retired plane was able to fly from London to New York in three hours.

“After we’ve done the space program, we will be producing supersonic planes, which will go far, far, faster than [the] Concorde,” Branson says.

As for when this is all going to happen, Branson wants to be around for it, so he’s hoping it’ll be possible in his lifetime.

“It’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable,” he explained from atop whichever pile of money is currently his favorite, (because I can only assume he has one).