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United Airlines Plans to Bring Back Supersonic Passenger Air Travel by 2029




United Airlines is ready to bring supersonic travel back to the industry by announcing  a commercial aircraft agreement with Denver-based aerospace company Boom Supersonic.

Announced this morning via Twitter and Instagram,  the terms of the agreement has United purchasing 15 of Boom’s ‘Overture’ airliners with the caveat that Overture needs to meet United’s demanding safety, operating and sustainability requirements, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft. The companies will work together on meeting those requirements before delivery. Once operational, Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one, optimized to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It is slated to roll out in 2025, fly in 2026 and expected to carry passengers by 2029. United and Boom will also work together to accelerate production of greater supplies of SAF.

With speeds of Mach 1.7, which is twice the speed of commercial airplanes today, Overture says they can connect more than 500 destinations in nearly half the time. The examples United advertised in their launch campaign included: Newark to London in three and a half hours, Newark to Frankfurt in four hours, San Francisco to Tokyo in six hours.

Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic founder and CEO said “United and Boom share a common purpose—to unite the world safely and sustainably. 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.”

It’ll be interesting to see how the traveling public responds to the return of supersonic travel. I’ve often wondered if we had the technology for the Concorde back in 1976, why we haven’t been able to update it, make it greener and safer for travel. I’ll cash in my miles (because I’m sure I won’t be able to afford a ticket) and give it a shot.