United Airlines has announced plans to buy 15 planes from airline startup Boom Supersonic in a move that could revive the high-speed form of air travel after the Concorde was wound down in 2003.
Under the deal, United would purchase Boom’s “Overture” aircraft once the planes meet “United’s demanding safety, operating and sustainability requirements” with an aim to start passenger travel in 2029, the companies said in a joint press release.
The announcement represents a potential comeback to a once heavily-touted method of travel, although some analysts expressed skepticism, particularly over the relatively speedy timeframe.
The agreement covers 15 planes and includes an option for United to obtain another 35 aircraft. The companies did not disclose financial terms.
“It’s an interesting idea, but there are a lot of questions,” said Michel Merluzeau, an expert at consultancy AIR, who estimates that developing a new commercial jet that passes muster with regulators could cost $10 to…