Hawaiian Airlines is investing in electric seaglider maker REGENT, with a view to using the aircraft on inter-island routes, the US carrier announced on May 11, 2022.
REGENT is developing an all-electric seaglider, known as the Monarch, that can seat 100 people and is planning to bring it into commercial service by 2028.
The company’s seagliders are ground effect aircraft, which operate close to the surface of the sea, gliding using the cushion of air created between the surface of the sea and the aircraft wing.
Hawaiian Airlines, which offers around 130 daily flights between the Hawaiian Islands, said it was very excited to be an early investor in REGENT and that the Monarch had great potential for the carrier.
“Innovative inter island transportation has been core to our business since 1929 when we replaced steam ships with airplanes,” Avi Mannis, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Hawaiian Airlines, commented in a press release. “We look forward to working with REGENT to explore the technology and infrastructure needed to fulfill our vision for convenient, comfortable and environmentally sustainable inter island transportation.”
The company’s seagliders can operate on routes up to 180 miles with existing battery technology, but this can be extended up to 500 miles with next generation batteries. REGENT said its seagliders combine the speed of an airplane with the operating costs of a boat and use existing dock infrastructure.
“Seagliders will be a game-changer for sustainable regional transportation in communities such as Hawai‘i,” predicted Billy Thalheimer, REGENT chief executive.
“Through close partnerships with design partners and strategic investors such as Hawaiian Airlines, we can fully understand our operators and unlock their ability to provide zero-emission transportation solutions to their customers.”