PR release — Eviation Aircraft, a global manufacturer of all-electric commuter aircraft, and Massachusetts-based Cape Air, one of the largest commuter airlines in the United States, announced a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the purchase of 75 all-electric Alice commuter aircraft.
With this engagement, Cape Air aims to set up an unparalleled regional electric fleet, taking a pioneering step into the sustainable era of aviation.
Eviation’s all-electric Alice aircraft can accommodate nine passengers and two crew. Cape Air flies more than 400 regional flights a day to nearly 40 cities in the Northeast, Midwest, Montana and the Caribbean. Deploying a fleet of all-electric Alice aircraft will significantly reduce carbon emissions, as well as maintenance and operational costs for the airline, and provide a smoother and quieter flight experience for passengers.
“Truly sustainable aviation not only reduces the impact of air travel on the environment but also makes business sense,” said Jessica Pruss, Vice President of Sales at Eviation. “We are proud to support Cape Air, a recognized leader in regional air travel, to chart a new path in delivering innovative solutions that benefit airline operators, passengers, communities and society.”
“Cape Air remains committed to sustainability, growth, and innovation, and our partnership with Eviation allows for these commitments to become a reality,” said Cape Air President and CEO Linda Markham. “Our customers will be at the forefront of aviation history and our communities will benefit from emission-free travel.”
The Eviation Alice is the world’s leading fully electric aircraft, designed to fly 440 nautical miles on a single charge and has maximum cruise speed of 250 knots. Alice will operate in all environments currently serviced by piston and turbine aircraft. The advanced electric motors have fewer moving parts to increase reliability and reduce maintenance costs. Alice’s operating software constantly monitors flight performance to ensure optimal efficiency.
“Cape Air has always maintained a deep commitment to social responsibility. As an early supporter of all-electric air-travel, we are dedicated to leading the industry towards a sustainable future,” said Cape Air Board Chairman, Dan Wolf. “Together with Eviation, we are creating the next generation of air travel, in which electric flight will be the industry standard.”
Alice has a range of 440 miles, and what does that look like? The map below is a 400NM range from Hyannis. The stated range for this aircraft is pretty good. It can reach just about anywhere Cape Air would want to focus.
In reality, Cape Air flies much shorter routes. The following chart illustrates how Cape Air’s average range has grown. So while Alice’s range is beyond what’s needed, that might change the calculations with this capability.
Moreover, because the Alice is small and quiet, Cape Air can do clever things like cherry-picking high-value traffic from small airports across this region. That means broadening its New England base and focus. Essentially Cape Air might be able to go after the kind of business that Wheels Up chases. That could broaden its market quite a bit. Here we see again what could happen when an operator gets a more capable aircraft. Capabilities enable creativity. From the DC3 to the A321neo, more capable aircraft create opportunities.
Cape Air’s decision could be the base upon which big growth could be built. Look at that map – there’s a lot of cherry-picking inside the circle.
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.