United Airlines announced the signing of a commercial agreement with Boom Supersonic, a Denver-based aerospace company, in a move that signifies a leap forward in returning to supersonic speed in aviation, with travel time cut in half and use of up to 100% sustainable fuel.
Under the terms of the agreement, United will purchase 15 Overture supersonic planes, with an option to buy an additional 35 aircraft. Before delivery, the companies will work together to meet United’s demanding requirements for safety and sustainability. Overture will be the first large commercial aircraft to achieve net-zero emissions, optimized to run on up to 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The rollout is expected in 2025, and commercial flights will begin in 2029. United and Boom will join forces to accelerate the production of SAF, as well.
“United continues on its trajectory to build a more innovative, sustainable airline and today’s advancements in technology are making it more viable for that to include supersonic planes,” according to United CEO Scott Kirby. “Our mission has always been about connecting people and now working with Boom, we’ll be able to do that on an even greater scale.”
Overture will have flying capabilities of Mach 1.7 – twice the fastest speed today, and is expected to connect more than 500 destinations in nearly half the time. Some of United’s future routes are Newark to London in just three and a half hours, and San Francisco to Tokyo in just six hours. Overture design will include features such as in-seat entertainment screens, ample legroom, and contactless technology. Working with Boom is part of United’s strategy to invest in innovative technologies to build a more sustainable future in air travel.
“The world’s first purchase agreement for net-zero carbon supersonic aircraft marks a significant step toward our mission to create a more accessible world,” according to Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic founder, and CEO. “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 a life lived in person, from deeper, more productive business relationships to longer, more relaxing vacations to far-off destinations.”