Hawaiian Airlines is thinking outside the box when it comes to transporting passengers between islands through the 50th State.
The airline is teaming with Regent to create all-electric seagliders that will transport up to 100 passengers across the water, barely skimming the surface on the journey between islands.
“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, said in a release. “We are excited to be an early investor in Regent and to be involved in developing their largest seaglider — a vehicle with great potential for Hawaii.”
The 100-passenger seaglider is expected to be ready for flight in 2028. The all-electric vehicle will be known as the Monarch, with Hawaiian becoming the first U.S.-based partner for Boston-based Regent.
So what exactly is a seaglider?
“The seaglider is an interesting thing that’s not quite a conventional boat, not quite an electric hydrofoil, and not quite an airplane,” according to Electrek.
The seaglider will float on its hull in the dock for the loading and unloading of passengers, and move at slow speeds in the area. Once away from the no-wake zones, it will lift above the waves and skim the surface for a smooth ride of about 180 miles per hour.
“Seagliders will be a game-changer for sustainable regional transportation in communities such as Hawaii,” said Regent CEO Billy Thalheimer. “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.”
Regent officials say their vehicles provide transportation at a fraction of the cost, noise, and emissions of other transportation modes such as traditional airplanes and boats.
“Regent seagliders will offer a sustainable and resilient mode of regional coastal transportation, especially for residents of coastlines and archipelagos such as the Hawaiian Islands,” the company said in a release.
Regent describes itself as a venture-backed aerospace and maritime company.
“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,” Mannis said.
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