American Airlines deposits money for 20 supersonic jets

American Airlines has agreed to purchase up to 20 supersonic jets and pay a non-refundable deposit for the planes, which are still on the drawing board and years away from flying.

neither American nor manufacturer Boom Supersonic would release any financial details Tuesday, including the amount of American’s investment.

American will become Boom’s second US customer, following a similar announcement by United Airlines last year for 15 of the Overture-named aircraft.

Almost 20 years have passed since the last supersonic passenger flight of the British-French Concorde, which could not be implemented because of the high flight costs.

Boom boss Blake Scholl says his company’s plane will be different when it debuts in 2029, with tickets ranging from around US$4,000 (£3,310) to US$5,000 (£4,140) at around three years to fly from New York to London
one and a half hours.

“Each year, tens of millions of passengers fly business class on routes where Overture will bring great acceleration,” said Mr. Scholl, “and airlines will be able to do so profitably.”

Skeptics have questioned Boom’s ambitious timeline, especially given the many years it’s taken Boeing, an established manufacturer, to get aircraft, or even retrofit aircraft, approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Also, Boom hasn’t lined up an engine manufacturer yet. It talks to Rolls-Royce and others.

According to Boom, the plane will fly entirely on sustainable aviation fuel, often made from plant material that is currently scarce and very expensive.

According to Boom, the Overture program will cost between $6 billion (£5 billion) and $8 billion (£6.6 billion). The aircraft has a list price of $200m (£165m), although other manufacturers routinely give airlines deep discounts.


This undated image by Boom Supersonic shows Boom Supersonic Overture Aircraft. American Airlines has agreed to buy up to 20 supersonic jets that are still on the drawing board and years away from flying. American announced the deal on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 with Boom Supersonic. (Boom Supersonic via AP)

Last month, Boom announced changes to the plane’s design to make it easier and less expensive to build and maintain.

The most notable change was the change from three engines, including a different type at the stern, to four identical engines under the delta-shaped wings.

The union, which represents American pilots, questioned the timing of the airline’s investment in planes that, at best, will be unavailable for several years.

American has been struggling this summer, canceling more than 9,300 flights since June 1, more than double the cancellations at United, Delta or Southwest, according to FlightAware.

“Investing in today’s operations should be management’s sole focus,” said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union.

“Unless there are management changes to the scheduling of this airline and its pilots, these will just be supersonic cancellations.” American Airlines deposits money for 20 supersonic jets

Fry Electronics Team

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