Boom Technology, a start-up aerospace manufacturer founded in Colorado nine years ago in 2014, wants to change the world of aviation with the introduction of its supersonic aircraft, the Overture. Many have long believed that supersonic flight is a thing of the past, but all that could be about to change if Overture can profitably enter airlines around the world.
In recent years, the manufacturer has found important partners, with both American Airlines and United Airlines ordering the plane. Moreover, Japan Airlines, a major investor in the jet, is also likely to be a reliable supporter. But are there any other carriers for which Overture could prove to be a perfect fit?
Concorde vs. Boom Overture: Which is better?
This question is not as simple as simply choosing the world’s largest airline, as severe restrictions affect supersonic flight. First, the flights would have to be primarily (if not entirely) over water, which would preclude airlines doing the bulk of the land flying. Second, the aircraft has a range of only 4,250 nautical miles, eliminating many long-distance transoceanic routes.
Finally, the cost of operating an aircraft is not cheap, and as a result, fares are certainly not affordable. This will probably exclude low-cost airlines from consideration here. Keeping all the above factors in mind, let’s take a look at five airlines where this plane could find a suitable home.
Five British Airways
Target market: From London to the US East Coast
- From London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
- From London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
It’s hard to begin a discussion about the potential resurgence of supersonic aviation without first looking at the airline that started it all with Concorde. First, British Airways is a very strong candidate for a new Overture for multiple reasons.
Photo: Graham Bloomfield | Shutterstock
Primarily, British Airways has a strong water network between London and major business hubs on the east coast of the United States. These routes not only meet all aircraft requirements, but also maintain appropriate levels of business travel demand for profitable operations. British Airways made an annual profit of $61 million over the life of the Concorde, up from $37 million during its operational life.
Four air france
Target Market: Paris to US East Coast
- From Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
BA’s other half, Air France, the airline that operated the Concorde, is also a likely candidate to buy the new aircraft. Overture could easily fly most of the French flag carrier’s transatlantic routes, which connect major cities along the US east coast as well as Paris.
Photo: Frédéric Legrand | Shutterstock
During its initial period of operation, Air France operated the Concorde profitably, earning a profit of $8.8 million in 1984, a profit that would increase further. Air France could also be a strong potential customer for Overture, as the cost of operating the booming jet fleet declines and with the support of transatlantic business travelers.
3 Hawaiian Airlines
Target Market: Honolulu to East Asia and the Pacific Coast of the United States
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- From Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) to Narita International Airport (NRT)
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) to Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN)
There are many immediate reasons to discuss why Hawaii’s flag carrier is the perfect choice for Overture. First and foremost, Hawaii is an island in the center of the Pacific Ocean, so all routes to and from the island are subject to restrictions placed on Overture flights.
Photo: DLeng | Shutterstock
Second, the amount of premium demand for the Hawaiian Islands is difficult to underestimate. As an example, Japan’s flag carrier ANA took on the challenge of flying an Airbus A380 to Honolulu specifically to capture this valuable market segment.
2 air canada
Target market: From Montreal and Toronto to Europe
- Montreal Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
- Montreal Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG)
Air Canada, Canada’s flag carrier with a strong presence in both London and Paris, may be poised to successfully launch transatlantic flights using boom supersonic aircraft. Canada’s hubs, Montreal and Toronto, are located slightly inland, but their location is unlikely to significantly reduce operational efficiency.
Photo: Tom Boone | Simple Flight
Additionally, business traffic between London, Toronto and Montreal remains very active. Paris is also a major hub for business travelers, but of course has cultural ties to Canada’s Quebec region.
1 All Nippon Airways (ANA)
Target Market: All Western Pacific
- Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
- Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN)
- Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
ANA’s main competitor, Japan Airlines, has already shown strong interest in Boom Overture, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Japanese carrier show similar interest. However, some may be surprised as to why the proposed route above does not include a connection to the American West Coast.
Photo: Daisuke Shimizu | Shutterstock
According to Boom’s latest range statistics, a route between Tokyo and Los Angeles, for example, would soon exceed the aircraft’s range. However, the airline has plenty of water routes in Asia and is in high demand for business travel, so you can be sure to fill seats. In addition, supersonic flight will allow the company to further increase the premium quality of its service to Hawaii.