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April 20, 2024

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Surf Air Mobility, Inc. has secured early delivery positions for 90 Electra eSTOL aircraft for its airlines, including Southern Airways Express and Mokulele Airlines. Surf Air plans to utilize its airline and charter platforms to support the launch, growth, and optimization of new electrified aircraft, providing systems, for its own operations and other customers.

Surf Air offers both scheduled and on-demand charter services, and is in the process of electrifying its fleet with electrified Cessna Caravans with its subsidiary Ampair and Textron, and the Regent electric seaglider aircraft. Surf Air Mobility’s “aircraft as a service” program will provide the financing and software tools needed to jump-start part 135 carriers to enable the introduction of new technology electric aircraft.

Electra is building a 9 seat eSTOL aircraft that can take off in as little as 150 feet, providing additional flexibility for operators to serve small airports across the country. Using 8 electric motors and a hybrid power system, the aircraft will dramatically reduce carbon emissions and operating costs for smaller aircraft. Electra has flown a two-seat technology demonstrator of its eSTOL aircraft concepts, and is developing a 9 passenger model for decarbonized regional air travel.

Surf Air

The Electra aircraft will have a range in excess of 500 miles plus a 45 minute reserve, will be able to accommodate 9 passengers plus 50 pounds of baggage for each passenger and cruise at 200 mph. It will be able to take off and land in a 300 ft by 100 ft. area, and will be quiet, generating only75dba at 300 ft.

“Electra stands out as one of the early market leaders in regional air mobility, and we’re excited to bring them onto our platform. Their innovations around hybrid-electric, short takeoff and landing aircraft—which can essentially take off and land on a football field-sized space—will unlock tremendous opportunities within the changing landscape of regional air mobility. We intend to leverage our leading position to become the definitive launch platform for new advanced aircraft technologies such as Electra,” said Stan Little, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Surf Air Mobility.

“As the country’s largest commuter airline, Surf Air is at the forefront of addressing the growing demand for cleaner, more affordable and convenient travel options. Electra is pleased to partner with Surf Air in spearheading the decarbonization of regional business aviation through the integration of our eSTOL aircraft into their fleet,” said John S. Langford, founder and CEO of Electra.

The Bottom Line

A partnership to help electrify aviation between an innovative aircraft operator and an innovative aircraft company has synergies that could jump-start Electra into a leadership position among similar new entrants. Synergies, systems, and financing are important elements for a new aircraft, and Surf Air Mobility’s innovative aircraft as a service offering could provide Electra’s eSTOL a jump-start in the market.

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President AirInsight Group LLC

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