United Airlines' New Supersonic 'Overture’ Aircraft

Airline acquires 15 ‘supersonic’ aircraft in huge fast travel investment

*The United Airlines buys 15 of Boom’s new ‘Overture’ aircraft that will cut international travel time by almost half, and says it is time to bring back supersonic flight in the global aviation industry

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In a strategic investment in fast travel towards expanding its market share in the global aviation sector, United Airlines in a deal with Boom Supersonic, went all-in Wednesday, June 2 when it bought 15 of Boom’s new “Overture” aircraft that will cut international travel time by nearly half.

Reportedly the first major commercial US airline to ink a deal with Boom, and it is almost 20 years after the Concorde was retired, United Airlines has decided that it is time to bring back supersonic flight in the international aviation industry.

The planes, according agency report, could cut trips from Los Angeles, in the United States (US) to Sydney, Australia, to 8.5 hours from 14.5 hours, and a flight from New York to London, in the United Kingdom (UK) could take 3.5 hours instead of 6.5 hours.

A sustainable future

Meanwhile, aviation industry observers have said the sector will have to wait at least until 2026 before “we’ll see if United’s bet was well-placed.”

They, however, hinted that the company has a chance to chalk up an impressive environmental benchmark once ‘Overture’ is operational.

The planes would become the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one, optimised to run on 100 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

Scott Kirby, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of United Airlines, 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.”

Kirby added: “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.”

It is also noted that with a price point closer to Business Class than Coach to maximise the revenue from a more limited 55 seats, flying on an Overture probably won’t be affordable to the mass market.

Kirby and United appear to be okay with that.

Company officials think that catering to business travellers’ need for working space and technology has so much potential upside that it committed to buying up to 35 additional jets in the deal it cut with Boom.

While United may be the first major commercial U.S. airline to ink a deal with Boom, it’s not the first to do so globally, agency report said.

In 2017, Japan Airlines committed to buying up to 20 of Boom’s supersonic aircraft.

Report said the US Air Force is also in on the Overture action.

Brigadier General Ryan Britton said the USAF thinks Overture might be a technological opportunity “to disrupt the balance of our adversaries” and could allow diplomats and leaders to connect more frequently in person.

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