United Airlines and American regional airline MESA announced that each airline would buy up to 100 electric aircraft. They intend on buying the ES-19, a new electric aircraft by Swedish startup Heart Aerospace.
As of now, it’s an agreement rather than a firm order. This is a major step taken by United as it aims to reduce the environmental footprint of its operations. The agreement is for 200 total aircraft, of which 100 total aircraft will join the United fleet, and 100 will join the MESA fleet.
MESA is a regional carrier that operates flights for United and American Airlines under United Express and American Eagle brands. The ES-19s will do well with the MESA fleet, which consists of other regional aircraft like Q400s, CRJs and more.
Heart’s ES-19 is a 19 seater battery-powered aircraft with a range of 250 miles. Heart aims to launch the aircraft by 2026 but may officially enter into service by the end of this decade after completing all the tests and certifications. The aircraft will have zero operational emissions as motor-powered batteries will entirely propel it. Still not completely carbon-free as electricity to power the aircraft may come from power plants that use fossil fuels.
The aircraft will not be the most versatile in the industry, with a range of just 250miles and a capacity of just 19 seats, but it will play a role in connecting smaller cities or urban cities to smaller cities. It will be more economical and environmentally friendly aircraft and might replace old Beechcraft or jetstream aircraft.
United could use it from hubs like New York or Chicago to connect other nearby small cities or even replace its older regional fleet. Finnair has also shown interest in this project.
Feature Image: “Heart Aerospace”