United Airlines, through United Airlines Ventures, announced that it has invested in Heart Aerospace electric aircraft startup. It is a company based in Sweden which is working on development of the ES-19, an electric 19-seat aircraft designed for short-haul flights as it has a range of up to 250 miles (about 400 km). The debut on the market is expected for 2026. The investment will allow the startup to accelerate its work on the battery-powered aircraft.
FLIGHTS WITH ZERO EMISSIONS
As part of the investment, United Airlines will buy 100 of these electric planes as soon as they have met its safety and operational requirements. Also Mesa Airlines, a partner of United Airlines, has invested in this startup and will add 100 ES-19 electric aircraft to its fleet. Once operational, the ES-19 could operate on more than 100 United’s regional routes. Although, as mentioned, the Swedish startup aims to offer an aircraft with 250 miles of autonomy (about 400 km), this figure is expected to improve as battery technology progresses. In this regard, special accumulators created on purpose will not be used but those already existing on the market.
With this investment in a fleet of electric regional transport aircraft, United Airlines is pursuing its ambitious plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. A certainly complex challenge which in any case demonstrates the company’s commitment to environmental matters. Recently, United Airlines had also announced the purchase of 270 new aircraft: 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8, 150 Boeing 737 MAX 10 and 70 Airbus A321neo. Thanks to this fleet of new generation aircraft, the company will save on maintenance and above all it will reduce consumption and therefore polluting emissions.
Returning to electric aircraft, it should be noted that he has also invested in the startup Breakthrough Energy Ventures behind which is Bill Gates. This isn’t the first time United Airlines has made an investment in startups like Heart Aerospace. In the past, in fact, the company, together with Mesa Airlines, had announced an order of up to 200 eVTOLs from Archer Aviation.