American Airlines is now betting on the return of supersonic travel with boom jet deal. The American carrier has become second major U.S airline to bet on ultra-fast passenger travel in last two years. The deal brings booms order book to 130 airplanes including options valued at about $26 billion. The return of interest in supersonic jets comes nearly two decades after Concorde flown by Air France and British airways was retired following a deadly crash and high cost of fuel and maintenance.
Last year United airlines holdings agreed to buy 15 Boom over-tier aircraft provided they met certain safety operating and sustainability requirements. A similar condition was part of American airlines agreement as well. American airlines have also an option now to purchase 40 more of the jets, each of which can carry 65 to 80 passengers. The four engine Overture jet can fly from Miami to London in just five hours cutting nearly nine hour flight time between cities by about half.
Supersonic jets have come under criticism from environmentalists for burning more fuel per passenger than compared to sub sonic jetliners. The overture jet is being designed to run fully on sustainable fuel or a blend which will be rolled out of Boom’s Greensborough North Carolina factory. Last supersonic passenger jet to be flown was Concorde was a promising plane flying faster than the speed of sound. However, the Concorde had to retire after massive accidents over the Atlantic Ocean killing hundreds of passengers.