American Airlines has agreed to buy up to 20 supersonic jets and put a non-refundable deposit on the planes that are still on the recall board and years away from first flight. But neither the American firm nor the manufacturer Boom Supersonic provide financial details about the contract.
American Airlines becomes the second US customer for Boom following a similar announcement last year by United Airlines for 15 aircraft, called Overture.
Almost 20 years have passed since the last supersonic passenger flight by Concorde, the British-French airliner that failed due to the high cost of flights. Blake Scholl insists his company’s plane will be different when it debuts in 2029.
Tickets are expected to cost around $4,000 to $5,000, to fly from New York to London in about three and a half hours. A halving of the current time of about 7 hours if done by direct line.
“There are tens of millions of passengers every year who fly business class on routes where Overture will deliver great speed,” Scholl said in an interview, “and the airlines will be able to do that profitably.” CEO of “Boom Supersonic” for AP.
Skeptics have questioned Boom’s ambitious schedule, especially in light of the many years it has taken Boeing, a well-known manufacturer, to get planes or even aircraft overhauls approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Boom says the plane will fly entirely on sustainable aviation fuel, often made from plant material, which is currently in short supply and very expensive. The Overture program will cost between $6 billion and $8 billion.
The supersonic jet itself carries a $200 million price tag, although other manufacturers regularly give airlines deep discounts.
Last month, Boom announced changes to the aircraft’s design to make it simpler and less expensive to build and maintain. The most striking change was the change from three engines, including another type in the tail, to four identical engines under the delta-shaped wings.