United and Mesa Airlines to use electric aircraft as soon as 2026

“United Airlines Ventures (UAV) announced today it, along with Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and Mesa Airlines, has invested in electric aircraft startup Heart Aerospace. Heart Aerospace is developing the ES-19, a 19-seat electric aircraft that has the potential to fly customers up to 250 miles before the end of this decade. In addition to UAV’s investment, United Airlines has conditionally agreed to purchase 100 ES-19 aircraft, once the aircraft meet United’s safety, business and operating requirements. Mesa Airlines, United’s key strategic partner in bringing electric aircraft into commercial service, has also agreed to add 100 ES-19 aircraft to its fleet, subject to similar requirements.”

Press release

At the present time, this technology is for relatively short haul, small regional flights. Am not yet seeing a path forward for continental spanning or international flights in large, electrically powered aircraft. Some think this may be solved with hydrogen-fueled aircraft (but hydrogen has a low energy density).

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