Hawaiian Airlines agreed to strategically invest in Regent to support the initial design of its all-electric seaplane prototype, the two companies said. The model, known as «Monarch» and with a 100-passenger capacity, is scheduled to enter commercial service in 2028.
The Hawaiian airline thus became the first U.S. partner of the electric aircraft manufacturer in this project.
«Innovative interisland transportation has been core to our business since 1929 when we replaced steam ships with airplanes», said Avi Mannis, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Hawaiian Airlines. «We look forward to working with Regent to explore the technology and infrastructure needed to fulfill our vision for convenient, comfortable and environmentally sustainable interisland transportation», he added.
«Sea gliders will be a game-changer for sustainable regional transportation in communities such as Hawaii» stated Billy Thalheimer, CEO of Regent. «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», he added.
The «Monarch» model is particularly attractive for Hawaii’s geography. It is an all-electric aircraft, designed to operate «with the speed of an airplane and the operating cost of a ship». According to Regent, it will have a range of almost 290 kilometers (180 miles) using the currently available battery technology. With the implementation of latest generation technologies, it could reach eight hundred kilometers (five hundred miles).
According to the manufacturer, the current dock infrastructure could sustain operations in the archipelago. «Our world-class team of aerospace and maritime engineers are leveraging maritime vehicle development pathways to bring our zero-emission, high-speed sea gliders to market within five years», the company said.