Surf Air Mobility, a US company accelerating the adoption of electric regional air travel, has entered into an exclusive relationship with Textron Aviation, supporting Surf's development of electrified Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft, beginning with a hybrid electric Grand Caravan, targeted to be available in 2024. Surf Air Mobility has agreed to purchase up to 150 Cessna Grand Caravan EX single-engine turboprops, with an initial fleet order of 100 aircraft and an option for 50 more. The aircraft will be upgraded to its proprietary hybrid electric powertrain technology as a nine-seat variant of the single-engine turboprop.
Through this exclusive agreement, Surf Air Mobility plans to make electrified aircraft broadly available to new and existing operators, and bring the benefits of lower cost, lower emission air travel to customers sooner than the rest of the aviation manufacturing industry, and at scale. Through an agreement to engage in joint marketing and sales efforts, Textron will use its expertise and deep customer relationships to help accelerate adoption of the electrified Cessna Grand Caravan for all types of missions, including passenger and cargo applications.
“We know from our experience that people are looking for faster, affordable and cleaner regional travel, and we are building the ecosystem to accelerate the industry's adoption of hybrid electric flight,” comments Surf co-founder, chairman and CEO Sudhin Shahani. “We believe significantly reducing the emission from this category of aircraft will be the biggest step we can take toward de-carbonisation in this decade.”
Surf Air Mobility's vision is to utilise the hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft across its own network, connecting more airports with short-haul direct service and building a regional mass transport platform to sustainably connect communities across the US.
“Hybrid electric propulsion technology, deployed at scale for environmental and commercial benefits, is an important part of the future of travel,” states Ron Draper, president and CEO of Textron Aviation. “This relationship with Surf Air Mobility leverages the unique performance capabilities of the Cessna Grand Caravan in both passenger and cargo operations, and continues to demonstrate the aircraft's adaptability for innovative missions and configurations.”