United Airlines follows JAL and Virgin Atlantic in entering a commercial agreement with Boom Supersonic to purchase its Overture airliners. Under the terms of the agreement, United will purchase 15 Overture supersonic jets, with an option for an additional 35 of the aircraft. JAL has signed a pre-order for up to 20 aircraft, and Virgin Atlantic for up to 10.
Overture is slated to roll out in 2025, fly in 2026, and to carry passengers by 2029, once it has been approved for operations by the aviation authorities. United will also want to see Boom meet its particular safety, operating and sustainability requirements before delivery. The aircraft is optimised to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and United is working with Boom to find ways to accelerate the production of SAF.
Overture is being designed to be capable of flight speeds of Mach 1.7 – twice the speed of today’s fastest airliners – which would enable United passengers to connect between more than 500 destinations in nearly half the time. Among the potential routes proposed by United are Newark to London in three and a half hours, Newark to Frankfurt in four hours, and San Francisco to Tokyo in six hours.
United’s CEO, Scott Kirby, said that Overture will give business and leisure travellers access to a “stellar flight experience”, with cabin features including in-seat entertainment screens, ample personal space, and contactless technology.
Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic’s founder and CEO hinted of the benefits to a world weary of videocalls: “ At speeds twice as fast, United passengers will experience all the advantages of life lived in person, from deeper, more productive business relationships to longer, more relaxing vacations to far-off destinations.”