Regent Craft, the Seaglider developer destined to provide exciting new Hawaii interisland service, just added two major aviation executives to its board of directors. They termed the two “aerospace titans” bringing onboard “a broad set of aerospace technology and business development expertise.”
BOH: To us, getting Neeleman to join is huge. His airline resume speaks for itself.
The seaglider, which will operate between Hawaii docks, could largely replace airports for island-to-island service.
First is prior Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg, who was terminated by the company following the two deadly 737 MAX crashes. Next is JetBlue’s David Neeleman, who founded five commercial airlines, most notably JetBlue Airways, besides Morris Air, WestJet, Azul Brazilian Airlines, and Breeze Airways.
“Dennis and David bring decades of combined experience in technology development, global manufacturing and distribution, and commercial operations that will be invaluable as Regent looks ahead to delivering our first Viceroy seagliders by mid-decade.” That, according to Regent chief executive Billy Thalheimer. He added, “They have managed through all the hard parts of developing, deploying and operating cutting-edge technology around the planet before.”
JetBlue’s Neeleman added, “I’ve spent my career enabling new, easier, more-accessible ways for people to travel, and Regent seagliders fill an urgent need for fast and sustainable coastal transportation.” David is currently CEO of Breeze Airways, which launched two years ago.
Regent is also backed by Lockheed Martin in its development of what is termed “wing-in-ground-effect” craft.
Its Monarch craft is set to appear in Hawaii for interisland service, will carry up to 100 people, and may enter commercial as soon as 2028.
Regent already has over 400 “provisional and firm orders” for its electric craft, said to be worth $8 billion. Seagliders appear destined to be a big success.
Seagliders will bring welcome relief for travelers [in] coastal communities such… the Hawaiian Islands. — Regent CEO Billy Thalheimer.
Unanswered concerns remain, including the safety of marine animals and other issues related to Hawaii’s weather and ocean conditions. REGENT previously proclaimed “Seagliders will be a game-changer for sustainable regional transportation in communities such as Hawaii… They will also be making their way to New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Regent said that “There has not been a new mode of transportation since the helicopter. This is the next great moment in the history of human transportation.”
How Seaglider works.
BOH previously said “When the electric wing-in-ground effect vehicle first departs the dock, it functions similarly to a traditional boat. Upon leaving the harbor area, as speed increases, it transitions to rise on a hydrofoil, which skims along on the water surface. In open water, however, the craft lifts off the water to within a wingspan of the water (65′). The hydrofoil is then retracted, and the vehicle accelerates to full cruising speed. It is a unique hybrid of airplanes and boats, featuring advanced digital flight control and traditionally simple boat controls. Seagliders are said to have operational efficiencies and payload capability far greater than traditional aircraft. This is the first-ever vehicle to successfully operate in three modes of maritime operation, floating, foiling, and flying.”
“Seagliders will slash the cost and time of regional trips.”
That according to its manufacturer The All-electric, vehicles will travel at up to 200 mph with operating costs similar to a boat rather than an airliner.
Current battery technology will allow for 180 miles of range, with a greater range coming soon.
Japan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and Mokulele Airlines are among those to partner with REGENT.
Investors include Hawaiian Airlines Japan Airlines, Mokulele Airlines, and Mesa Airlines. Also Split Express, FRS, Ocean Flyer, Brittany Ferries, Southern Airways), and Fly The Whale.
It was just one year ago that Hawaiian Airlines announced it was investing in the Monarch 100-passenger vehicle as they became the first U.S. development partner. Mokulele, became an acquisition partner previously with their purchase of 15 12-passenger Viceroy craft and 5 100-passenger Monarch craft.
Hawaiian Airlines’ CMO Avid Mannis said, “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 seaglider – a vehicle with great potential for Hawaii.”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.”