Travel Trends will be Reshaped by Supersonic Flight

Research shows today’s travel is driven by time proximity, but onboard Overture, faster flight opens up the world

The Jet Age transformed the way the world travels by unlocking new destinations like Hawaii and enabling frequent travel between Europe and the United States. However, travel time remains a critical factor in destination selection, and time in the air has not changed much since the mid-20th century. In fact, planes are flying more slowly than they did at the dawn of the Jet Age. 

So, while the number of people traveling continues to increase, the places they choose to fly hasn’t changed a great deal. Over the past 20 years, Mexico and Europe have consistently topped the destination list for Americans, even as increasingly popular destinations like Asia and the Middle East grow in appeal across the world. With airplanes still moving at mid 20th-century speeds, it only stands to reason that travel patterns are also in a holding pattern. 

Change, however, may be on the horizon. Looking ahead, the next generation of travelers is already starting to think differently about their itineraries and global exploration. Gen Z’s, those born between 1997 and 2012, travel habits are increasingly shaped by their exposure to social media. In fact, according to an Expedia Study, 90% of them said social media directly influenced their plans. Studies show that Gen Z’s are also willing to sacrifice spending in other sectors in order to prioritize globetrotting, even when on a more limited budget than older generations. And with supersonic travel in the not too distant future, lasting trends might just be broken across all generations. Much in the same as as the Jet Age reframed travel possibilities, a supersonic age would make the world dramatically more accessible and turn bucket list items into more attainable and routine experiences. 

Supersonic travel is the great enabler across destinations and generations, transforming the ways we connect with others and share experiences across the globe. Supersonic travel will make trips to the Middle East shorter than trips to Europe today. Weekend trips to explore the world become possible when Paris is a quicker trip than Las Vegas is from New York today. 

Onboard Overture, the world’s fastest airliner – optimized for speed, safety, and sustainability, travelers will save hours in the air that they can spend on the ground at their destination, or back home sleeping in their own beds. Flying at twice the speed of today’s passenger airliners, Overture has the power to open up the world for all.

New destinations onboard Overture

The Jet Age transformed travel in the mid-20th century, making Hawaii, once a remote paradise, a hotspot for tourists with the accessibility of faster air travel. Europe became the top destination for US travelers and remains the largest tourist region.

Looking beyond the U.S. and at global travelers, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that internationally there were just 25 million tourist arrivals in 1950. As of 2019, this number increased to 1.4 billion international arrivals per year – a 56-fold increase.

While there has been some reshaping of destination trends over the last several decades with more passengers visiting Asia while traveling to the Americas has declined, these shifts have been more incremental in nature and are still driven by proximity. According to Research Gate, more than 90% of high-traffic scheduled flights are less than four hours or 1,500 nautical miles.

With supersonic flight onboard Overture, London becomes a 3:40 trip from New York City or about the time it now takes to get to Denver, which is half the distance. Onboard Overture, we can expect a new wave of tourism, unlocking the potential of hard-to-reach or untapped destinations. It will no longer take double digit hours to see Australia. Flight times to Asia or the Middle East will be cut in half. Envision flying Los Angeles to Tahiti in just over 4 hours or from Boston to Paris and back home in time to tuck the kids into bed.

When planning a long weekend onboard Overture, enabling you to arrive in half the time – what new destinations are unlocked? Suddenly it becomes possible to go skiing in St. Moritz instead of Aspen for a weekend, or wine tasting in French or Italian wine country instead of Sonoma or Napa. Travelers could visit the real Eiffel Tower instead of the Las Vegas version. The benefits exceed time-savings and open up the world for every kind of traveler and any adventure that’s waiting. 

In 2019 (pre-Covid) an estimated 0.2% of Americans traveled to Australia. What could happen when it’s possible to get there from Los Angeles in under 9 hours instead of more than 15? Americans have a strong desire to travel outside of the US and across the globe. According to a Pew study, roughly three-quarters of Americans (76%) have visited at least one other country, including 26% who have been to five or more. 

The demand is clear – and supersonic opens up the opportunity for people to to reach more destinations, have more cultural experiences, and make more real life connections.

2024 European travel trends

Virtuoso’s Luxe Report on travel trends recently shared the most popular destinations that travelers are looking to visit. The luxury travel network surveyed a group of industry-leading travel agency members across more than 50 countries to gain insight into the preferences and desires shaping the travel sphere for the year ahead.

Whether retreating to a Tuscan wine estate or one of Amalfi’s historic palazzos, Italy takes first place across the board when it comes to top destinations for 2024. For travelers from the United States and the United Kingdom, France and Greece are also top locations. Today, flying on subsonic commercial aircraft, the flight from New York to Rome is 8 hours. Onboard Overture, that decreases to 4:40 hours – leaving enough time to add in a pasta dinner or make another wish at the Trevi Fountain, followed by one last Aperol spritz. These are already top destinations, but think about how many more people might choose to visit Italy or Greece when flight times are significantly faster.

Flying supersonic increases time saved to spend on-location, but also creates advantages for wellbeing. From decreased jet lag to making it back home for a night’s sleep in your own bed at a reasonable hour, the benefits are extensive. Trips from New York to Rome become accessible over a long weekend, meaning you can still enjoy a European getaway without burning all your vacation days. Meeting for lunch in Paris becomes a reality.

Europe and Mexico are top destinations for U.S. travelers today, but in the future with the opportunity to fly supersonic, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and Asia become within reach – at flight times that are similar to subsonic destinations travelers are willing to fly today. 

Travel uptick to and from Asia 

According to Cirium FMTraffic, in 2022, when most regions made significant progress in recovering to pre-Covid levels, Asia remained a laggard. Much of this was driven by the fact that Asian countries were slower than other regions to end Covid-era travel restrictions. China’s policy, known as “zero Covid”, remained in place until December 2022. While Singapore and Japan were not as restrictive, they did not fully end Covid entry restrictions until February and April 2023, respectively. The later start to recovery meant that travel to, from, and within Asia boomed from 2022 to 2023.


In 2023, Asian travel reached ~90% of 2019 levels. International travel to and from China grew year over year by a staggering 1,193%, growing from only $132m annual premium revenue in 2022 to $1.7b in 2023. Japan saw premium revenue grow by 182% to $2.2b in 2023. Asia and Australia saw year over year premium revenue growth of more than 40%. While this recovery is still slightly behind Europe and North America, it suggests that a full recovery to 2019 nominal revenue levels is likely in 2024.

It’s no surprise that Japan is a top destination for the coming year, but the flight itself can be daunting. Imagine planning a trip to Tokyo just to spend over 8 hours on a flight, leaving you jet lagged and exhausted upon arrival. Overture will cut that flight nearly in half with a flight time of 4:35 hours from Tokyo to Vancouver.

A generational shift in travel trends

Gen Z (born between 1997-2012) is a generation of frequent travelers, despite their income being lower than preceding generations. Data shows that they are traveling with more frequency than Gen X and Baby Boomers, and on par with Millenials. 

When compared to other travelers, Gen Z is more likely to list adventure, mental health, and cultural experiences as their reasons to travel. They are also more likely to desire international travel and destinations they have not already been to, which indicates alignment with getting to farther-flung destinations in half the time when given the opportunity to fly at supersonic speeds.

Gen Z’s travel habits have the potential to transform the travel industry, including the possibility of setting new trends in international destinations, disrupting the status quo of the past seven decades. Their thirst for exploring new locations and cultures means they may be most eager to take advantage of faster travel to get to new destinations in half the time.

Making the world dramatically more accessible

The revival of supersonic air travel is upon us and Overture is leading the way, supported by the demand for a faster and more accessible world. A new generation of explorers is poised to increase travel frequency and expand trends to new or untapped destinations. In combination with faster travel, unlocking new routes and destinations becomes a reality. 

While history’s supersonic airliners served only a handful of routes, Boom has identified over 600 profitable routes across the globe at fares that are affordable for passengers and profitable for Boom’s airline partners, that today include United Airlines, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines. 

From generation to generation, supersonic has the ability to transform the ways we connect with others around the world. In the near future, know that you won’t have to accept that status quo of subsonic speeds. Imagine living in a world where the possibilities of supersonic are not far fetched, but the new norm. Where remote destinations are unlocked as tourist hubs, locations across the globe are ripe for weekend trips, and the barriers for travel are significantly reduced. This is where supersonic takes flight. 


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