Los Angeles, California-based Surf Air Mobility Inc. has agreed to purchase up to 150 Textron Aviation Cessna Grand Caravan EX single-engine turboprop aircraft, with an initial fleet order of 100 aircraft and an option for 50 more.
The order, which is subject to Surf Air Mobility obtaining financing, is part of an exclusive relationship between the two companies supporting Surf Air Mobility’s development of electrified Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft, beginning with a hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft powered by Surf Air Mobility’s proprietary powertrain technology.
The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company. The hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft is targeted to be available in 2024.
Textron Aviation’s initial deliveries of the Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft to Surf Air Mobility, a company accelerating the adoption of electric regional air travel, are expected to begin in Q2 2022. Surf Air anticipates that its hybrid electric system for the Grand Caravan, upon certification, will power a 9-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 Aviation will use its expertise and deep customer relationships to help accelerate adoption of the electrified Cessna Grand Caravan for all types of Cessna Grand Caravan missions, including passenger and cargo applications.
“Hybrid electric propulsion technology, deployed at scale for environmental and commercial benefits, is an important part of the future of travel,” said Textron Aviation President & CEO Ron Draper. “This relationship with Surf Air Mobility leverages the unique performance capabilities of the Cessna Grand Caravan in passenger and cargo operations and continues to demonstrate the aircraft’s adaptability for innovative missions and configurations.”
It’s anticipated the hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft will be used by Surf Air Mobility across its network of airports with short-haul direct service across the U.S. to create a regional mass transport platform to sustainably connect communities.
“This is an opportunity to showcase the combined expertise and technologies of both Textron Aviation and Surf Air Mobility,” said Rob Scholl, senior vice president, Textron eAviation.
“Through this exclusive relationship with Textron Aviation, we’re able to make electrified aircraft broadly available to existing and new operators, and bring the benefits of lower cost, lower emission air travel to customers faster and at scale,” said Sudhin Shahani, co-founder, CEO & executive chairman, Surf Air Mobility. “We believe electrifying the Cessna Grand Caravan is the most significant step that can be made toward reduced emission flying with the quickest path to market. We are building the ecosystem to accelerate the industry’s adoption of hybrid electric flight.”
The transactions between Textron Aviation and Surf Air Mobility are subject to certain closing conditions, including the receipt of financing by Surf Air Mobility.
Surf Air Mobility is the parent company of Surf Air, Blackbird, and has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Ampaire.