United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: UAL) announced today that it has entered into a commercial agreement to buy 15 planes from Boom Supersonic, with the option to purchase an additional 35 planes.
This is the first firm order for Boom Supersonic from a major airline operator. The aircraft called ‘Overture’ will be able to fly at supersonic speeds of Mach 1.7 and cut down the travel time from New York to London by half.
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Overture’s engines will be designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), making the plane the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one.
Shares of United are down almost 3% today. The stock is up more than 40% year-to-date and 74% for the trailing one-year period after being hard hit by the pandemic lockdowns with most of the domestic and international travel coming to a halt.
Boom Supersonic plans to make its first flight with a demonstrator jet called the XB-1 later this year.
Post successful demonstration, the company aims to start manufacturing the aircrafts in 2023 with rollouts set to begin in 2025. The company intends to carry out the first flight in 2026 and start delivering the 88-seater planes for commercial service in 2029.
CEO take on the commercial agreement
In a statement released earlier today, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said:
“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. 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.”
On Boom Supersonic’s first commercial order, Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of the Denver-based firm, said:
“The world’s first purchase agreement for net-zero carbon supersonic aircraft marks a significant step toward our mission to create a more accessible world. United and Boom share a common purpose—to unite the world safely and sustainably. 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.”
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