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Electric aviation: US regional carrier JSX buys 130 hybrid planes, option for 200 more

Electra's nine-seater aircraft. Image: Electra

US regional carrier JSX has placed orders for more than 130 hybrid-electric aircraft from three manufacturers, in a move heralding the arrival of electric aviation.

JSX is acquiring 50 ES-30 planes from Swedish company Heart Aerospace capable of seating 30 people, and a similar number of 19-seat Era aircraft from France's Aura Aero. The company is also buying 32 nine-seater aircraft from US-based Electra. The aircraft will start arriving from 2028.

JSX also has options for an additional 200 aircraft from these manufacturers for a potential order of up to 330 airplanes.

"Today's order of hybrid-electric aircraft exemplifies our commitment to achievable, customer-friendly, carbon-reducing solutions that will offer the lower costs essential to providing vital air service to smaller communities across the country," Alex Wilcox, JSX CEO & Co-Founder said in a statement. "Electra, Aura Aero, and Heart Aerospace are visionary organizations that share in JSX's commitment to serving smaller communities, working together with us to weave sustainable regional air travel back into the fabric of American commerce and freedom of movement."

Heart Aviation's ES-30 has fully electric zero emissions range of 200 km, extended hybrid range of 400 km with 30 passengers and flexibility to fly up to 800 km with 25 passengers. Image: Heart Aviation

Heart Aerospace and Electra said their electric planes would enter commercial service in 2028, while Aura Aero said its plane will enter service before 2030.

Simon Newitt, President and Chief Commercial Officer at Heart Aerospace, said in a statement: "The ES-30, with its competitive economics and green credentials, fits very well with JSX's vision, and we see not only the opportunity to reconnect many regional routes lost over the years, but also open many more new ones. We believe this transformation will be good for the consumer, good for the economy as well as for the environment."

JP Stewart, Electra's Vice President and General Manager, said: "Electra is thrilled to be a key part of JSX's innovative vision for the future of regional air mobility. Our eSTOL aircraft is uniquely positioned to deliver on JSX's commitment to provide sustainable access to small communities and large cities alike."

If all options are included, JSX could buy up to 150 aircraft from Aura Aero, 100 aircraft from Heart Aerospace and 82 aircraft from Electra. The company did not disclose the value of the deal.

The airline currently operates 48 Embraer E145 family aircraft that have been retrofitted with 30 seats for point-to-point flights to 24 destinations.

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