AT CNBC’s ESG Impact Virtual Conference on October 6th, Mike Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures, announced the company’s intentions to fly many 200-mile routes with electric aircraft by the end of the 2020s.
These routes will be flown by the ES-30 aircraft from Heart Aerospace, which will be able to carry up to 30 passengers.
The ES-30 in development by Heart Aerospace will feature both all-electric and hybrid-electric propulsion modes. The aircraft will be able to fly 200km per flight in all-electric modes, and up to 800km in hybrid modes.
In 2021, United placed an order for 100 of these aircraft from Heart Aerospace, targeting routes from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Denver International Airport as key markets for the first batch of aircraft.
Said Mike Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures, in a recent interview with CNBC: “Initially we want to fly on routes that are 200 miles or less. But as energy density increases, that same aircraft will have a range of 250 miles, 300 miles, which is going to give us a lot more utility here connecting our hubs.”
Leskinen went on to mention: “Existing technology is going to either cause us to fly less, which is an unacceptable alternative, or continue with a carbon footprint, which we believe is equally unacceptable. We cannot continue doing and operating our business the way we do; it is imperative that we change it, and the way we’re going to change it is through investing in technology”.
Heart Aerospace has also taken purchase orders from Air Canada, Mesa Air Group, and Icelandair, and has received received investments from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and EQT Ventures. The company was founded in 2018, and only recently announced the ES-30 on September 15 of 2022. Currently, Heart is targeting a 2028 entry into operations for the ES-30.
Why it’s important: While Heart aerospace is not developing a VTOL aircraft, the development of is large-capacity ES-30 aircraft will take massive strides for the electric aviation industry, possibly by becoming the world’s largest passenger electric aircraft to take flight. By investing in Heart Aerospace, as well as in aerial mobility companies like Archer, United is continuing to demonstrate its commitment to the future of electric aviation.
Source // CNBC, Heart Aerospace
- Heart Aerospace Joins European Regions Airline Association (September 2022)
- Heart Aerospace Selects Garmin for its Avionics Package (December 2021)
- United Airlines Completes $10M Pre-Payment for 100 Archer eVTOL Aircraft (August 2022)