Hawaiian Airlines Invests in REGENT Seaglider

Hawaiian Airlines (HA) will invest in REGENT to support the initial design of a next-generation all-electric seaglider.



May 16, 2022

DALLAS – Hawaiian Airlines (HA) will invest in REGENT to support the initial design of a next-generation all-electric seaglider. The craft, dubbed Monarch, will seat 100 passengers and is scheduled for service by 2028.

"Innovative inter-island transportation has been core to our business since 1929 when we replaced steamships with airplanes. We are excited to be an early investor in REGENT and to be involved in developing their largest seaglider – a vehicle with great potential for Hawaiʻi’," said Avi Mannis, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Hawaiian Airlines.

"We look forward to working with REGENT to explore the technology and infrastructure needed to fulfill our vision for convenient, comfortable and environmentally sustainable inter-island transportation."

"Seagliders will be a game-changer for sustainable regional transportation in communities such as Hawai‘i. Through close partnerships with design partners and strategic investors such as Hawaiian Airlines, we can fully understand our operators and unlock their ability to provide zero-emission transportation solutions to their customers," said Billy Thalheimer, REGENT CEO.

REGENT seaglider viceroy will carry 12 passengers using an innovative wing-in-ground-effect lift system and all-electric distributed propulsion systems. Image: REGENT.


According to the REGENT website, the company builds “seagliders,” a new type of wing-in-ground-effect (WIG) vehicle that uses hydrofoils and distributed propulsion systems.

REGENT’s current endeavor, the Viceroy, will carry 12 passengers and 2 crew members, and fly 160 nautical miles at 160 kt airspeed. In cargo configuration, it is designed to carry 3,500 lbs (1,600 kg). The noise level should be about 30 db quieter than an airplane or helicopter. The craft is also designed to work with existing dock infrastructure.

“Seagliders are half the cost of aircraft and 6x faster than ferries, with less noise and zero emissions. Seagliders have double the range of similar-sized electric aircraft, thanks to aerodynamic and operational efficiencies. Our team of MIT-trained, ex-Boeing engineers is leveraging maritime vehicle development pathways to bring our zero-emission, high-speed seagliders to market within five years,” the website says.

Hawaii’s investment would work to scale this up to create a 100-passenger aircraft.

Funders of REGENT include Thiel Capital and JAM Fund. Additional industry-leading financiers include Mesa Air Group, Mark Cuban, Y Combinator, Founders Fund, Caffeinated Capital, and Fitbit founder James Park.

Featured image: REGENT viceroy. Photo: REGENT