Image: Conceptual render of Boom Supersonic's Overture jet in United Airlines livery. Source: United Airlines and Boom Supersonic
United Airlines Holdings Inc (NYSE: UAL) announced a deal Thursday with Boom Supersonic to purchase 15 of the Denver-based startup’s supersonic jets with an option for 35 more.
Under the agreement, United will purchase Boom’s “Overture” jet once the planes meet United's “demanding safety, operating and sustainability requirements,” the companies said in a joint press release.
The Overture, which has not yet been built, is expected to roll out in 2025, fly in 2026 and enter commercial service in 2029. The companies did not disclose financial terms.
Once the Overture hits the skies, it will be the first large commercial aircraft to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel, the companies said.
The jet — which will be able to fly at the speed of Mach 1.7, or 1.7 times the speed of sound — will also cut some flight times in half.
In its press release, United and Boom cited a few potential routes:
- Newark to London: 3 ½ hours (Current flying time: 6 ½ hours)
- San Francisco to Tokyo: 6 hours (Current flying time: 10 ¼ hours)
- New York to Frankfurt, Germany: 4 hours (Current flying time: 7 hours)
United’s chief executive officer Scott Kirby said, “United continues on its trajectory to build a more innovative, sustainable airline and today’s advancements in technology are making it more viable for that to include supersonic planes.”
“Boom’s vision for the future of commercial aviation, combined with the industry’s most robust route network in the world, will give business and leisure travelers access to a stellar flight experience,” Kirby stated.
Reuters reported that the jets will be the first supersonic passenger planes since the retirement of the Concorde in 2003, due in part to the high cost of meeting environmental restrictions on sonic booms.
United said it is too early to determine how much flights will cost but told USA Today the plane is designed to have operating costs that are 75% lower than the Concorde. The airline also said it is working with Boom to ensure the Overture is commercially viable.
Boom Supersonic founder and chief executive officer Blake Scholl said, “The world’s first purchase agreement for net-zero carbon supersonic aircraft marks a significant step toward our mission to create a more accessible world. United and Boom share a common purpose — to unite the world safely and sustainably.”
Source: Equities News