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The latest airline to aim for the stratosphere is American.
In a Tuesday press release, the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline said it had placed a deposit on 20 Boom Overture supersonic jets, with options for 40 more.
American Airlines CFO Derek Kerr has said that “supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver for our customers” in the future. That Boom will have such a profound impact on the future of travel is exciting for us as a company and for our customers.
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Announcing the final Overture design at the Farnborough Airshow, the Overture is a supersonic aircraft. Mach 1.7 (or 1.7 times the speed of sound) and using sustainable aviation fuel, the plane can hold between 65 and 80 passengers (SAF). Supersonic flights between Miami and London (just under five hours) and Los Angeles and Honolulu (three hours) were mentioned in a press release by American Airlines.
A little over a year after United Airlines announced an agreement to purchase up to 50 of the jets, American has placed an order for the Overture. Although this is welcome news, it arrives as the plane and the company in charge of it face increasing scrutiny over their lofty goals for the project.
Notably, the Overture doesn’t have an engine, so it relies on SAF for propulsion at supersonic speeds. Although Boom has worked with Rolls-Royce to develop engine concepts, Rolls-Royce CEO Warren East recently told The Air Current that his company does not have anyone working on the engine’s design.
Speculative products are not something East or his team are creating, he stated to The Air Current.
More: United Airlines and Boom Supersonic have announced a partnership to develop commercial supersonic travel.
Boom, however, remains committed to the aggressive schedule it has set for the plane. Production of the plane is scheduled to begin in 2025, the maiden flight is scheduled for 2026, and the first passengers are expected to board in 2029.
Though the amount of American’s aircraft deposit remains unknown, some observers and analysts have pointed out that the airline already has the most heavily leveraged balance sheet of any U.S. carrier, and this transaction would only add to their debt.
Thanks to Boom for providing the featured image.
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