Mokulele Airlines and Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) have partnered with Boston-based Regent Craft to explore the construction of a Seaglider transportation network in the state of Hawaii to drive innovation in the passengers and freight in support of a more resilient and sustainable transportation ecosystem for the State.
Pacific Current, a Subsidiary of HEI, Named Regent’s Preferred Energy and Infrastructure Partner for Hawai’i, Focusing on Vehicle Financing and Developing and Providing Access to Renewable Energy and Infrastructure electric charging. Mokulele Airlines will be the launch partner of the Seaglider Transport Network, with the aim of bringing a fleet of 12-passenger Viceroy Seagliders from Regent to the island chain.
But before that, project partners have launched a feasibility study that focuses on the economic, environmental and community benefits and challenges associated with introducing Seagliders for inter- and intra-island travel in the state of Hawaii. . It also focuses on the economic impact on the state as well as how Seagliders can help improve transportation affordability and accessibility, including assessing the impact of adding new roads and new services to improve access for underserved communities.
“The Regent Seaglider is a complete game-changer for the state of Hawai’i,” said Stan Little, CEO of Mokulele. “Not only can this vehicle help the state achieve its sustainability and resiliency goals faster, but it will allow our airline to offer new services that are not possible today. The Seaglider network gives us the ability to provide a fast, convenient and affordable transportation solution that won’t require passengers to travel to an airport. Imagine going from the Port of Kona to downtown Honolulu in less than 55 minutes, door to door. The partnership between Regent and Pacific Current allows us to do what we do best, which is to provide local communities across the state with safe and convenient transportation for their leisure, business and of medical travel.
The Regent’s Seaglider is an all-electric, wing-in-ground-effect craft that operates within a span of the water’s surface and couples the speed of an airplane with the cost of operating a boat. Built to the same safety standards as all modern airplanes and personal watercraft, the vehicle can reach up to 180 mph (290 km/h) while covering distances of 180 miles (290 km). Plus, it works dock-to-dock – it takes off from the water using hydrofoil technology, which is used in today’s most efficient boats.
After successful prototype testing, the Regent Seaglider is expected to begin operations by 2026, and not just in Hawaii, but on other US routes as well.