Fly from Newark to London in 3.5 hours? Or to Frankfurt, Germany in four? And do it in a more sustainable way?
United Airlines may soon be able to do all that.
Last week, the airline announced a commercial agreement with Denver-based aerospace company Boom Supersonic to add aircraft to its global fleet that not only will decrease flying times, but increase the company’s sustainability initiatives.
United, which was one of the state’s 10 biggest employers pre-pandemic, will purchase 15 of Boom’s Overture airliners — once Overture meets United’s demanding safety, operating and sustainability requirements — with an option for an additional 35 aircraft. The companies will work together on meeting those requirements before delivery.
Once operational, Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from Day One, optimized to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel. It is slated to roll out in 2025, fly in 2026 and expected to carry passengers by 2029. United and Boom also will work together to accelerate production of greater supplies of SAF.
United CEO Scott Kirby said it is just another way the airline is adjusting its business model.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Boom Supersonic founder and CEO Blake Scholl said the world’s first purchase agreement for net-zero carbon supersonic aircraft marks a significant step.
“United and Boom share a common purpose — to unite the world safely and sustainably,” he said. “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.”
Destinations that can be reached much more quickly.
San Francisco to Tokyo in just six hours? That may be coming soon.