American Airlines posts bond on 20 supersonic jets

DALLAS– American Airlines has agreed to buy up to 20 supersonic jets and pay a non-refundable deposit on planes that are still on the drawing board and years away from flying.

Neither the American nor the manufacturer Boom Supersonic would provide financial details on Tuesday, including the amount of the American deposit. American becomes Boom’s second US customer after a similar announcement last year from United Airlines for 15 of the planes, called Overture.

Almost 20 years have passed since the last supersonic passenger flight of Concorde, the Franco-British aircraft which failed to establish itself due to the high cost of flights.

Boom CEO Blake Scholl insists his company’s plane will look different when it debuts in 2029, with tickets costing around $4,000-$5,000 to fly from New York to London in about three hours and a half.

“There are tens of millions of passengers every year who fly business class on routes where Overture will provide great acceleration,” Scholl said in an interview, “and airlines will be able to do this cost-effectively.”

Skeptics questioned Boom’s ambitious timeline, especially in light of the many years it took Boeing, an established manufacturer, to get planes or even plane upgrades approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Boom says the Overture program will cost between $6 billion and $8 billion. The plane has a list price of $200 million, although other manufacturers regularly give airlines deep discounts.

Last month, Boom announced changes to the plane’s design to make it simpler and cheaper to build and maintain. The most striking change was from three engines, including a different type on the tail, to four identical engines under the delta-shaped wings.

However, Boom does not yet have an engine manufacturer. He talks with Rolls Royce and others.

ABC News

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