Supersonic flights set to return.
United Airlines has bought 15 planes capable of travelling at twice the speed of modern airliners with a plan to bring back supersonic travel since Concorde’s final flight 18 years ago.
The deal consists of United taking delivery of 15 planes from Denver-based aerospace company Boom Supersonic, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft.
According to the airline, the planes would be optimized to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). United has pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The company said potential routes include Newark, New Jersey to London in just three-and-a-half hours, with tickets initially being priced at business class fares.
Trial flights are scheduled to begin in 2026, with commercial use in 2029.
United’s chief executive, Scott Kirby, said: “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.
“Boom’s vision for the future of commercial aviation, combined with the industry’s most robust route network in the world, will give business and leisure travellers access to a stellar flight experience.
“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.”
The Overture will reportedly carry fewer passengers than the Concorde did, with 65 to 88 seats – significantly lower than Concord’s 92 to 128.
Blake Scholl, the chief executive of Boom Supersonic, said: “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.
“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.”
Concorde holds the record for the fastest transatlantic flight by a civilian plane, timed at two hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds – between New York and London in 1996.