Are These All-Electric Seagliders the Future of Island Hopping Around Hawaii?

The zero-emission Monarch is about to be a game-changer for sustainable travel

Courtesy of REGENT

Soon, island hopping around Hawaii will look a lot different.

Last week, aerospace and maritime company Regent announced that Hawaiian Airlines will be investing in its all-electric, zero-emission sea gliders, which can fit up to 100 passengers and are expected to make their commercial debut by 2028.

According to Regent, the sea gliders "[operate] within a wingspan of the water's surface" and are an excellent eco-friendly mode of transportation for travel around the Hawaiian islands. Called the Monarch, the zero-emission sea glider is a wing-in-ground-effect craft that can fly up to 180 miles per hour using current battery technology—or 500 miles with next-gen batteries.

"Seagliders will be a game-changer for sustainable regional transportation in communities such as Hawai'i," said Regent CEO Billy Thalheimer. "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."

Courtesy of REGENT

With the deal underway, Hawaiian Airlines is Regent's first U.S-based design partner for the Monarch.

"Innovative interisland 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 interisland transportation."

The news comes as multiple airlines are switching to more sustainable methods of travel in an effort to minimize their environmental impact. In 2020, JetBlue achieved carbon neutrality on all domestic flights—the first U.S. airline to do so—and shortly afterward United Airlines promised that it would be 100 percent green by 2050. And in January, Delta Air Lines debuted sustainability-focused inflight products.

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  1. Hawaiian Airlines. "REGENT Announces a Strategic Investment From Hawaiian Airlines." May 11, 2022.

  2. Hawaiian Airlines. "REGENT Announces a Strategic Investment From Hawaiian Airlines." May 11, 2022.