The largest airline in the world, American Airlines also wants to be one of the fastest in the industry. The US carrier confirmed on Tuesday the signing of an agreement with Boom Supersonic to purchase up to 20 Overture supersonic jets, with an option for a further 40 aircraft.
In a statement, the US company revealed that it paid a non-refundable deposit to Boom for the initial 20 aircraft. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
American Airlines is the third airline to confirm interest in Overture, which has also been ordered by Japan Airlines and United Airlines.
In all, incluiding orders and purchase options, Boom’s order backlog totals 130 aircraft. Another potential customer is the US Department of Defense, which has already consulted with the manufacturer about the possibility of creating a supersonic “Air Force One” for presidential transport.
“Looking to the future, supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver for our customers,” said Derek Kerr, American’s Chief Financial Officer. “We are excited about how Boom will shape the future of travel both for our company and our customers.”
Debuts in 2029, if not delayed again
The Overture is designed to carry 65 to 80 passengers and fly at Mach 1.7 (2,099 km/h), nearly twice the speed of sound, with a range of 7,871 km (4,250 nautical miles).
According to Boom, the plane with these characteristics will be able to serve more than 600 routes around the world, fulfilling the segments in less than half the time of current subsonic jets.
“We believe Overture can help American deepen its competitive advantage on network, loyalty and overall airline
preference through the paradigm-changing benefits of cutting travel times in half,” said Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic.
Despite the interest of major airlines, Overture is still far from debuting on the market. In July this year, Boom presented a new production design of the aircraft, changing the three-engine to four-engine design, and announced that the plane would be presented in 2025. The commercial debut of the “new Concorde” is scheduled for 2029.