DALLAS — American Airlines flights could be getting faster. It just might take a while.
The Fort Worth-based company on Tuesday announced it has agreed to purchase up to 20 Boom Supersonic Overture aircraft, with an option to buy an additional 40.
The Overture is expected to fly twice as fast as today's commercial aircraft, over water. The examples American Airlines included were flights from Miami to London in under five hours and Los Angeles to Honolulu in three.
The only catch: You'll have to wait.
The Overture isn't expected to be passenger-ready until 2029. Boom Supersonic in July released the final design for the Overture, and production is expected to be completed by 2025.
American has paid a non-refundable deposit on 20 Overture aircraft, according to its announcement Tuesday. The airline's agreement with Boom Supersonic incudes the option buy an additional 40 Overture aircraft.
Boom Supersonice has previously reported commercial orders with United Airlines and Japan Airlines, for a total of 70 aircraft.
The Overture is expected to hold 65-80 passengers and have a range of 4,250 nautical miles. The aircraft will have four wing-mounted engines that can power the plane up to speeds of Mach 1.7 over water and just under Mach 1 over land.
The aircraft is also expected to have a noise reduction system on takeoff.
“Aviation has not seen a giant leap in decades. Overture is revolutionary in its design, and it will fundamentally change how we think about distance,” Boom Supersonic CEO Blake Scholl said in a company press release last month.
The Allied Pilots Association, the union representing American Airlines pilots, criticized the announcement, saying it was "obviously intended to grab headlines."
"While future aircraft deliveries are always welcome news, right now we’re frankly more interested in seeing American Airlines correct its serious operational problems," the union statement said.
In the short-term, American is juggling shifting flight schedules. The airline is cutting 16% of flights from its schedule in November, amounting to about 31,000 flights total, according to a CNN report. The November cutbacks follow cuts of 2% for September and October.
"It matters not what airplane you book… whether it travels at the speed of sound or it’s subsonic. A cancellation is a cancellation," Dennis Tajer of the Allied Pilots Association told WFAA.
"We implore management to focus on today. The problems that you have and that our passengers are enduring along with our pilots are failures of the schedule today," Tajer added.