United Airlines Is Buying 15 Supersonic ‘Net-Zero Carbon’ Jets From Boom Supersonic, Will Fly ‘Twice As Fast As Today’s Passenger Jets’
Boom Supersonic and United Airlines
Image Courtesy of Boom Supersonic

On Thursday, United Airlines agreed to purchase 15 supersonic aircraft from Boom Supersonic, with a further option to purchase an additional 35 jets.

Boom Supersonic announced that United was the first U.S. airline to sign an aircraft purchase agreement and will “purchase 15 of Boom’s ‘Overture’ airliners” once they meet “United’s demanding safety, operating and sustainability requirements.”

According to the announcement, the jets will start to carry passengers in 2029, with the “net-zero carbon aircraft” flying on “100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).”

The jets will reportedly fly “twice as fast as today’s passenger jets,” with a flight between Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, U.S. to Heathrow Airport in London taking 3 hours 30 minutes, instead of 6 hours 30 minutes. According to plans, the Overture airline will roll-out in 2025, with its first flight scheduled for 2026.

“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,” said Scott Kirby, United Airlines’ CEO. “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 travelers 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 world’s first order of net-zero carbon supersonic aircraft marks a significant step toward our mission to create a more accessible world,” added Blake Scholl, the Founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic. “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.”

According to Boom Supersonic, the Overture craft will seat between 65 and 88 passengers, with a cruising altitude of 60,000 feet, speed of Mach 1.7, and range of 4,888 miles.

This announcement comes as part of United Airlines’ “environmental commitment.”

“We’re embracing a new goal to be 100% green by 2050 by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions 100%. And we’ll get there not with flashy, empty gestures, but by taking the harder, better path of actually reducing the emissions from flying,” said Kirby. “We (also) realize there’s a limit to what a single company can do alone. That’s why we are continuing to seek opportunities to collaborate with other industries. We must reach across industries to develop coordinated efforts to accomplish what must be our collective goal of carbon neutrality.”

United Airlines Holdings Inc. stock dropped 4% following the announcement, falling from $59.60 at opening to $57.94 later on Thursday afternoon. 

According to TechCrunch, “Boom’s goal is to be the first commercial aircraft that runs on net-zero carbon footprint fuel right from day one,” adding that “The company is focused on sourcing and using 100% sustainable aviation fuel, and part of the arrangement between the two companies includes United working in collaboration with the startup to develop and improve production sources for that sustainable fuel.”

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