Supersonic Travel Set To Return In 2029

After a near-30-year hiatus, supersonic transatlantic travel is set to return. American Airlines, the world’s biggest airline, has announced a deal to purchase up to 20 Overture aircraft from Boom Supersonic. The deal has an option to extend the order to 40 aircrafts. The Overture jets are expected to start production from 2025. From 2029, the aircrafts are set to carry 65 – 80 passengers each on routes such as from Miami to London and Los Angeles to Honolulu. 

A statement released by American Airlines, said that the Overture jets will give them “an important new speed advantage”. The new high-tech jets, dubbed as the “son of Concorde” has a cruising speed of Mach 1.7 (1,300 miles per hour). Compared to most commercial aircraft, the “son of Concorde” will travel twice as fast cutting a six and a half hours journey between London and New York to three and a half hours. As well as this, a flight between London and Miami would go from nine and a half hours to less than five hours. [1] 

David Kerr, American Airline’s financial officer, stated that they “are excited how Boom will shape the future of travel both for our company and our customers.” [1] 

American Airlines’ deal is not the only deal Boom Supersonic has been engaged in. Just weeks before the news, Boom Supersonic revealed that it has a separate deal with US defence contractor Northrop Grumman to develop a military version of the Overture. Moreover, United Airlines ordered 15 jets last year, Virgin Atlantic reached a deal in 2016 and Japan Airlines have placed order for Boom Supersonic’s yet-to-launch jets. 

Boom Supersonic’s Concorde was retired back in 2003 by British Airways. In July 2000, the project was shelved after a fatal crash at Charles de Gaulle airport. In addition, ticket costs became a problem for flight demand. City and Wall Street banks did not want to pay £7,000 a seat to transport executives across the Atlantic even if it was faster. Expected prices for the upcoming Overture jet seats have not been released yet however, Blake Scholl – chief executive of Boom Supersonic – stated that tickets would be “affordable”. Scholl stated, “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 must improve fuel efficiency, but step by step supersonic air travel will become available for everyone.” [2] 

A major issue with supersonic travel is the extra fuel required to travel at higher speeds as the airline industry is already responsible for around 5% of global warming. The industry has been committed to reducing carbon emissions. Boom Supersonic has stated that flights will fly on “up to 100% sustainable” aviation fuel. The company prioritises “circularity by repurposing used tooling, recycling components on the shop floor, and leveraging additive manufacturing techniques that result in less manufacturing waste and lighter, more fuel-efficient products”. As well as this, the company has aims to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2025 and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. [2] 

Scholl stated “We are proud to share our vision of a more connected and sustainable world with American Airlines.” [1] 



© 2022 Whitestone Chambers 

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