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Hawaiian Airlines to add electric seaglider planes to fleet by 2028

Hawaiian Airlines hopes to fly a fleet of electric seaglider planes interisland by 2028.

It was recently revealed that the commercial airline has invested in Regional Electric Ground Effect Nautical Transport (REGENT), a Boston firm that makes the fully-electric gliders that hover just above the water.

Avi Mannis, chief marketing and communications officer for Hawaiian Airlines, told AFAR: “Hawaiian Airlines has a strong interest in figuring out how we can reduce the carbon intensity of our operation.

“The interisland market, in particular, presents some unique opportunities because of the short distance and high volume of travel. We’ve been exploring technologies that might be beneficial in accomplishing that. The seaglider concept struck us as particularly interesting.”

REGENT notes that the seaglider is different from a seaplane.

A spokesperson said: “The seaglider operates exclusively over water, traversing the sea in one of three modes—floating on its hull, using its hydrofoil, or flight above the water’s surface in ground effect."

Once the wings are activated it can reach speeds of up to 180mph.

Hawaiian Airlines' long-haul flights produce the most carbon, but it's a step in the right direction for Hawaii.

Mannis added: “We provide an enormous amount of connectivity here in Hawaii - our service is really the highway system of the state.

“This can be a useful complement, and it can help us explore more opportunities to decarbonize in the future.”

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