United Airlines Ventures (UAV) and Mesa Air Group join Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) to invest $ 35 million in a Series A financing round in electric aircraft developer Heart Aerospace. The Heart Aerospace ES-19, a 19-seat electric aircraft under development that is expected to reach a range of 250 miles, will enter service before the end of the decade, according to the Swedish start-up.
Parent company United Airlines said on July 13 that it was working with United Express partner Mesa Airlines has conditionally agreed to purchase 200 ES-19s “once the aircraft meet United’s safety, business and operational requirements”. The two operators also hold options for an additional 100 of the aircraft. Earlier this year, United and Mesa announced plans to move on 200 of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft for four passengers in their fleets as part of plans to offer passengers to and from major hub airports.
The commitment of the large US airline group builds on a declaration of interest signed by Finnair in March. The European airline plans to purchase up to 20 of the ES-19s for use on short regional routes.
With the agreement that Mesa will take over the aircraft, Heart Aerospace now has commitments that cover more than 400 potential orders with 13 airlines. Except for Mesa and Finnair, none of the other airlines has been identified.
UAV has begun building a portfolio of companies focused on sustainability concepts and developing the technologies and products necessary to build a carbon neutral airline and achieve United’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions. United is committed to fully reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 without relying on traditional carbon offsets.
Once operational, the ES-19 could operate from most hubs on more than 100 of United’s regional routes, the airline said. Routes include Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Purdue University Airport (LAF) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Modesto City-County Airport (MOD).
“Breakthrough Energy Ventures is the leading voice of investors helping create clean energy technologies,” said UAV President Michael Leskinen, who also serves as United’s vice president of corporate development and investor relations. “We share their view that we need to build companies that have real potential to change the way industries work, and in our case that means investing in companies like Heart Aerospace that are developing viable electric airliners.
Mesa, which once claimed to be the largest operator of 19-seat aircraft, pulled out of the turboprop market entirely a few years ago because its economics were no longer sustainable. For example, Farmington, New Mexico, a rural community on the Navajo Nation border, previously had more than 30 daily departures to seven destinations. Today Farmington has no scheduled services and only a few 19-seater turboprops operate on scheduled services worldwide. The ES-19 aircraft’s reduced operating costs promise to reopen the service to such communities, Mesa said.
“These technological innovations are good for the environment, will expand the national transportation system and offer Mesa significant growth opportunities,” said Jonathan Ornstein, CEO of Mesa Air Group. “We look forward to getting back in touch with communities and passengers we previously served.”
Heart Aerospace, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, expects to ship the first ES-19 for commercial use by 2026. The company claims the ES-19 aircraft will be quieter than its turboprop counterparts, with less vibration and noise. The low noise during taxi, take-off and landing not only improves the experience for passengers, but also for those who live near airports.
This story is from FutureFlight.aero, a news and information resource published by. was developed AIN Providing objective, independent reporting and analysis of the latest aviation technology, including the development of electric aircraft and advanced air mobility.
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