United Airlines has signed a deal with supersonic aircraft maker Boom that could eventually see flight times between London and New York cut to 3.5 hours – a business travel luxury not seen since the days of Concrode.
Super-fast trans-Atlantic flights could be a reality again by the end of the decade, it said.
United today conditionally agreed to buy 15 Overture planes made by Boom Supersonic capable of flying at speeds of Mach 1.7, which is twice as fast as jet offerings from Boeing or Airbus.
The US airline said potential routes include Newark, New Jersey to London in just 3.5 hours, a journey which currently take around seven hours.
A quick pop across the pond is still a way off though, with test flights not due to start until 2026 and a goal of commercial flights taking off from 2029.
The fastest flight by a commercial airline between New York – which neighbours Newark – and London is two hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds, set by Concorde in 1996.
Concorde last flew the route in 2003.
The British Airways-Air France joint venture was retired due to increased maintenance costs and reduced demand.
As well as being incredibly fast, Boom’s Overture aircraft will also be carbon neutral.
Boom Supersonic founder and chief executive Blake Scholl said of the industry first deal: “The world’s first purchase agreement for net-zero carbon supersonic aircraft marks a significant step toward our mission to create a more accessible world.
“United and Boom share a common purpose – to unite the world safely and sustainably.
“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.”