Aircraft developer Boom Technologies is keen on correcting Concorde’s past mistakes, with Boom Overture, a 55-seat supersonic airliner. With United Airlines confirming the purchase of 15 Overture Boom aircraft for operation in 2029, it will become the first commercial airliner to operate supersonic jet aircraft since British Airways ceased Concorde flights in May 2003.

Boom Overture will meet the demands of corporate travellers

Since the cessation of Concorde in 2003, the travel industry has faced numerous challenges, such as sustainability issues, a global pandemic (COVID-19) and two global financial recessions. As a result, corporate travel policies are constantly evolving to deal with the turbulent industry with the view of protecting budgets, employee welfare and corporate responsibility programmes. With the technological developments of the Overture Boom aircraft, it has the potential to meet these needs by operating a more cost-efficient, sustainable and safer aircraft.

One of the critical issues with Concorde was the cost of operation, creating inflated ticket prices for the consumer, resulting in a small and prestigious market. Via a presentation on its website, Boom Technologies CEO, Blake Scholl, vowed to offer flights for around £2,000 from London to New York, which is the exact cost of a standard business class ticket. This cost is significantly cheaper than Concorde tickets, which cost over $16,000 in today’s prices (taking inflation into account). Essentially, this pricing widens the market, creates a competitive business class product and will fit into many corporate travel budgets.

Furthermore, environmental engagement is a significant area for businesses to take into consideration within their travel policies. Large corporations are under constant scrutiny and public pressure to adopt environmentally and socially responsible business practices. Sections of the media and environmentalists have widely criticised the frequency of private executive air travel. One of the main concerns with supersonic jets is the environmental impact given their fuel usage, as historically Concorde was not fuel-efficient. However, Boom Technologies has pledged to use 100% sustainable fuel and follow the airline industry’s commitment to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. According to a GlobalData Poll*, 45% of people believe that the environment is the most significant factor in a company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) plan, highlighting the need for corporations to have responsible corporate travel programmes.

A boost to corporate travel

Providing Boom Overture can meet its promise regarding zero emissions and provide seats at a cost representing value for money, corporate travel could reach new heights, creating hyper-connected networks in the process. According to GlobalData’s projection, international business travel will not recover globally until 2024. However, the first supersonic flight does not operate until at least 2029, at which point business travel will have fully recovered. As a result, many airlines have placed provisional orders with Boom Technologies, potentially increasing its reach to the market upon launch. Furthermore, it signals faith within the airline industry that there is potential in supersonic travel. Should this faith be repaid, we could see a more robust and connected corporate travel industry from 2030 onwards.


(*) GlobalData’s Verdict Poll – live since 1 February 2021 – 253 respondents

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