LONDON – Hawaiian Airlines has agreed to invest in REGENT, which will be designing a new all-electric sea glider known as the Monarch.
When this aircraft is designed, tested, and placed into commercial service, the Monarch will offer a capacity of 100 passengers, which is a very significant feat in this area of the industry.
The Monarch will offer a range of 500 miles with next-generation batteries, all via existing dock infrastructure.
REGENT is looking to get this aircraft to market within the next five years.
Inter-island Transportation Key for Hawaiian…
Commenting on the benefits of this aircraft was Avi Mannis, the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Hawaiian Airlines:
“Innovative interisland transportation has been core to our business since 1929 when we replaced steamships with airplanes.”
“We are excited to be an early investor in REGENT and to be involved in developing their largest sea glider – a vehicle with great potential for Hawaiʻi’,”
“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.”
Thalheimer: Sea Gliders Are A Gamechanger…
Billy Thalheimer, the CEO of Regent also commented on this deal, including why this type of aircraft will be ideal in the name of sustainability:
“Seagliders will be a game-changer for sustainable regional transportation in communities such as Hawai‘i.”
“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,”
With the model that REGENT wants to follow in this regard, they “will offer a sustainable and resilient mode of regional coastal transportation, especially for residents of coastlines and archipelagos such as the Hawaiian Islands.”
REGENT Could Do Well Anywhere…
Whilst Hawaii is going to be a good case study in how this aircraft will do well, there is the perspective that it can do well anywhere with docking infrastructure.
For example, on the East Coast of the United States, you have the likes of Tailwind Air and other seaplane operators in Vancouver, Canada where the opportunity to scale up operations like this would be incredibly beneficial.
For now, only mainline carriers would probably be the better customer for REGENT as the passenger numbers could be guaranteed, especially with Hawaii being a significant tourist hotspot.
Australia, New Zealand, and other small islands around the Oceania region could benefit very well from such island-hopping too.
What remains clear is that this innovative design from REGENT could prove to be incredibly successful.
The way the Monarch is being marketed can highlight the benefits of such island-hopping and could encourage more airlines to buy these aircraft later down the road.
With the initial design still taking place, it will be interesting to see what the performance of the aircraft will be when a testbed is developed over the next few years.
For now, REGENT has a very good partner on board for this new sea glider, and everyone will have to wait and see whether Hawaiian chooses to order these aircraft in time for commercial service by 2028.