United Airlines has invested in the Swedish start-up company Heart Aerospace, based in Gothenburg, that is developing electric aircraft. In an investment round, the Swedish company raised $35 million, and among the investors was the airline giant.
The aircraft that Heart Aerospace is developing is intended for regional flights and can carry 19 passengers. The range of the plane is 400 kilometers. According to an article by DI, shorter flights account for as much as 85 percent of all departures and contribute to a significant proportion of emissions.
In addition to the fact that the electric aircraft is quieter and environmentally friendly, it's also much cheaper to manufacture and will therefore cost less for airlines to purchase. This may lead to reduced ticket prices for travelers. According to Heart Aerospace, the aircraft will be fully completed by 2026 and ready for commercial flights.
The funds that now have been secured will be used to refine their ES-19 model. In an article by DI, cofounder of Heart Aerospace, Anders Forslund, comments on the news:
"It's an exciting day. This is something we have been keeping under wraps for a long time, and now we finally get to share it. It feels huge."
United Airlines and the Mesa Air Group holding company have each bought 100 units of the ES-16. United Airlines' electric aircraft investments are part of the company's efforts to completely eliminate its carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. In addition to buying electric aircraft from the Swedish company, it has also signed a deal for 200 smaller electric taxi aircraft from Archer Aviation, based in Palo Alto.