Hawaiian Airlines looks to spice up its fleet with the addition of ‘seagliders’. 

Boston-based aerospace and maritime company REGENT announced on Wednesday that Hawaiian Airlines had made a major investment in the company with plans to build 100 passenger seagilders. 

Travelling by air and sea 

REGENT, according to its website, aspires to “drastically reduce the cost and headache of regional transportation between coastal cities” with its seaglider, which has the same operating cost as a boat. Both the start and end of the journey would be on water so passengers are hardly airborne. According to REGENT, the seagliders are ‘wing-in-ground-effect’ vehicles. This means that the gliders stay within a wingspan of the surface of the water and will rely on aerodynamic properties such as a “dynamic air cushion created by the pressurised air between the wings and the water.”

Seagilders are also more environmentally friendly and efficient in comparison to a typical aircraft as they are 100% electric and produce zero emissions. 

Hawaiian Airlines clearly sees its potential and has joined forces with the seaglider manufacturer to produce 100 ‘Monarch’ seagliders. While it’s still early days, the carrier and REGENT are hoping for commercial flights by 2028. 

REGENT seaglider
A concept photo of one of REGENT’s seagliders. | © Regent

Seagliders allow up to 100 passengers to travel just above the water’s surface with potential maximum speeds of 180 mph – you can travel up to the speed of an aircraft at a fraction of the cost financially and environmentally. 

The Monarch seagliders will meet all the same safety standards as all modern aircraft and watercraft and can cover routes up to 500 miles.

REGENT aspires to achieve the above and improve the speed and inconvenience around travelling within coastal cities like Hawaii without hurting the environment. 

Billy Thalheimer, REGENT’s CEO, spoke about Hawaiian Airways’ investment and the promising future for seagliders:

“Seagliders will be a game-changer for sustainable regional transportation in communities such as Hawaii. Through close partnerships with design partners and strategic investors such as Hawaiian Airlines, we can fully understand our operators and unlock their ability to provide zero-emission transportation solutions to their customers.”

For Hawaiian Airlines, the use of seagliders could be a game-changer. The seagilders can use existing port infrastructure well to run harbor-to-harbor flights across the Hawaiian Islands for less than the cost of planes and ferries. The carrier could save a significant amount of money – and make an awful lot of profit too. 

For passengers, travelling on the Monarch will be a thrilling and unique experience offering beautiful scenery and convenient travel. 

If this partnership is successful, it truly is a win-win. 

Let us know what you think about this story. Would you travel on a seaglider?

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