United Airlines announced today that it has placed an order for 15 supersonic jets with the option to purchase 35 more at some point from the start-up Boom Aviation. The supersonic jet — called “the Overture” — would be able to transport travelers at Mach 1.7 from New York to London in 3.5 hours and San Francisco to Tokyo in just six hours.
“Boom’s vision for the future of commercial aviation, combined with the industry’s most robust network in the world, will give business and leisure travelers access to a stellar flight experience,” United CEO Scott Kirby said.
The flights are not expected to be operational until 2029 at the very earliest. In fact, the first flight of this aircraft likely won’t take place until 2026. However, company plans to make its first flight in 2021 with a demonstrator jet called the “XB-1.”
If you are wondering about price, they estimate that the prices will range from about $5,000 to $7,000 so about what you would expect for a premium cabin ticket. No word on the miles needed yet but I’m sure they will breaking their own barriers.
The planes will be carbon neutral and use sustainable air fuel. The jets should be a lot quieter than the old Concorde (which flew from 1976 until October 2003) but will still fly super high at 60,000 feet. I never got to take the Concorde but apparently you don’t really feel the transition to supersonic speeds like you may think which means you might be able to just sit back and enjoy the amazing views of the curvature of the earth at that altitude.
Interestingly, the founder does not have a background in aerospace. He partnered with engineers from SpaceX and Rolls-Royce, stating “I found that passion and drive trumped knowledge and wisdom.”
You can check out the United ad here.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.