American Airlines orders 20 supersonic aircraft, which will enter service in 2029

American Airlines said Tuesday it has ordered 20 Overture supersonic jets from aerospace manufacturer Boom, scheduled to enter service in 2029, a quarter-century after the legendary Concorde retired.

American Airlines (AA) said in a statement that it has paid a deposit and has an option for 40 additional aircraft.

When asked by AFP, neither AA nor Boom provided the size of this order, which comes just over a year after United Airlines committed 15 Overture aircraft in June 2021, with an option for 35 additional equipment.

A spokeswoman for American producer Boom nevertheless confirmed that the company is targeting a price of $200 million for the overture, as previously announced by other media outlets.

According to Boom, the Overture, with a capacity of 65 to 80 passengers, will be able to reach Mach 1.7, or around 2,100 km/h, twice as fast as the fastest aircraft currently in service.

On some routes, Boom expects travel time to be halved compared to current flight times. The statement mentions a flight from Miami to London in less than 5 hours, compared to just under 9 hours today.

The line of the Overture, whose autonomy reaches 7800 km, is similar to that of the Concorde created by the French Sud Aviation (now Aérospatiale, today integrated into the Airbus group) and the British British Aircraft Corporation (now BAE Systems).

In service with Air France and British Airways from 1976 to 2003, the Concorde was never profitable and the cessation of its operations was hastened by the accident of a plane taking off from Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, which killed 113 people people in July 2000.

The Overture is set to run on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) made from biomass, waste oil and, in the future, even captured CO2 and green hydrogen.

SAF can reduce CO2 emissions by 80% compared to kerosene.

Before passengers can be carried, the Overture must receive the green light from regulators, specifically permission to fly at an altitude of about 11 miles (18 km), while the current limit for a jet is just under 8 miles.

“Over the coming years, supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to serve our customers,” American Airlines chief financial officer Derek Kerr said in the statement.

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