Travel News

New York to London Flights in Under 4 Hours?

June 4, 2021

Aviation startup Boom Supersonic says they’re going to make air travel from New York to London in 4 hours a reality.

sunset view out the window of an airplane

Their plan is to bring back supersonic jets, aimed at breaking the current “time” barrier. Older folks might remember that the Concorde (in operation from 1969-2003) was the only supersonic airplane that catered to commercial passengers.

Inexpensive, Carbon-neutral Supersonic Flights

The issue in the past was twofold. The Concorde was prohibitively expensive and also terrible for the environment. If you bought a flight on the Concorde, a round trip ticket from New York to London (in today’s money) would set you back about $20,000.

The new jets will be as sexy and slim as any jet in the air – as supersonic technology requires – and Boom promises an unparalleled level of seat comfort and spaciousness. The first jets will have seating for 88 passengers and larger windows to prioritize passenger comfort and visibility in the skies.

Fly Anywhere in the World in 4 Hours

Boom Supersonic’s aim is to get passengers from point A to point B – anywhere on the globe – for $100 in 4 hours. You heard that right. Now, that is a lofty goal and far from what is possible today. The CEO says the company is aiming to meet that metric about three generations of aircraft down the road, but the idea in and of itself is tantalizing, and the implications for both business and leisure travel are quite exciting if they can make it a reality.

The first generation jet is called the Overture. Boom plans to have these jets in the air for testing sometime in 2026 and they say the technology will make them fly twice as fast as today’s fastest aircraft. In addition, Boom’s CEO says that the operational costs are 75% less than the Concorde.

United to Buy Supersonic Jets from Boom Supersonic

Though the aircraft is in development and hasn’t yet started production, they’re already generating a lot of buzz. In fact, just this week United Airlines announced they are in partnership with Boom Supersonic to buy 15 of their nascent carbon-neutral Overture jets (the first generation are expected to be available by 2026). United will shell out a cool $3 billion to get in on the supersonic trend early, and put down a deposit of $35 million to seal the deal. The deal includes an option to buy an additional 35 jets for $7 billion if United likes what Boom Supersonic is serving up. Of course, built in is an exit clause if Boom doesn’t meet the strict safety standards set out by United or if they don’t meet regulatory approval thresholds.

So what do you think? Would you be willing to take a ride on one of the first supersonic jets in 20 years? What are your concerns? What routes would you hope to see? Sound off in the comments section below!

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