American Airlines has agreed to purchase 20 ‘Overture’ jets from Boom, a supersonic passenger jet manufacturer in the US, with an option to purchase 40 more
Boom is promising significantly shorter flight times than current commercial aviation, with its Overture jets capable of flying at supersonic speeds of up to Mach 1.7 over water.
While such a speed is double what current commercial aircraft can offer, it is still slower than the speeds achieved by Concorde, which was capable of a top speed of Mach 2.04.
The Overture jets are slated to finish production on the first units by 2025, with the first flight scheduled for 2026 and the first commercial passenger flights in 2029.
The production and flight schedule for Boom and its Overture jets will see the resumption of commercial supersonic travel after over 20 years of hiatus.
The Overture jet is designed to have a range of 4,250 nautical miles, with Boom identifying 600 profitable routes for the plane across the world. It has a passenger capacity between 65-88 seats.
Ticket prices have not yet been announced, but it is expected that prices will match current business class rates. This is a significant change from the last commercial supersonic aircraft, with seats on the Concorde costing up to 30 times the price of a regular aircraft seat.
Scholl has consistently claimed that tickets would be affordable.
“I started this because I was sad that I never got to fly on Concorde. I waited but no one was doing it, so I decided to. Ultimately I want people to be able to get anywhere in the world in five hours for $100 (£83).”
“To get there you have to improve fuel efficiency, but step by step supersonic air travel will become available for everyone. This is supersonic passenger air travel, no bullshit, and it’s actually affordable,” he said.
American Airlines is the third airline to place official orders for the Overture, with United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic being the two forerunners to place orders.
United is set to receive 15 of the jets, while it is unclear how many Virgin will receive, having been involved heavily in the project since 2016.
Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom, spoke about the deal with American Airlines.
“We believe Overture can help American deepen its competitive advantage on network, loyalty and overall airline preference through the paradigm-changing benefits of cutting travel times in half.”
American Airlines chief financial officer, Derek Kerr, said “Looking to the future, supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver for our customers. We are excited about how Boom will shape the future of travel both for our company and our customers.”