American Airlines is looking to the future, agreeing to order 20 supersonic planes that will fly from London to Miami in just 5 hours. If those projections are correct, passengers jumping across the ditch will roughly halve their current flight duration. Boom Technology has been tasked with manufacturing the time travelling machines, with their supersonic planes called Overture scheduled to hit the sky commercially in 2029. Let’s hope this new innovation finds its way Down Under…
American Airlines’s 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.”
It’s been nearly two decades since passengers travelled via supersonic aircraft, with Franco-British airliner Concorde going bust due to high flight costs. However, Boom chief executive Blake Scholl believes his plane will have a place in the market, with tickets costing about 4,000 US dollars (AU$5,700) to 5,000 US dollars (AU$7000) to fly from New York to London in about three and a half hours.
If you’ve got the cash, this is exciting news. For those who ride up the back of the airbus, don’t expect to be cracking the sound barrier anytime soon. Scholl notes: “There are tens of millions of passengers every year flying in business class on routes where Overture will give a big speed-up and airlines will be able to do it profitably.” Planned to carry 65 to 88 business class level seats, the Boom boss wants to eventually move away from the higher pricing and offer supersonic flights to everyone.
Scholl said: “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 bulls**t, and it’s actually affordable.”
The Overture programme will cost between $6 billion and $8 billion. Each plane carries a list price of $200 million, although manufacturers routinely give airlines mates rates. At this stage, Boom hasn’t locked in an engine manufacturer but is currently in discussion with Rolls-Royce and others.