Surf Air (URF, Santa Monica) parent Surf Air Mobility has confirmed an order previously announced in July 2021 for 100 Cessna (single turboprop) C208EX Grand Caravans with hybrid-electric propulsion systems and a further 50 options, as it announced the completion of its acquisition of US commuter carrier Southern Airways Express (9X, Memphis International).

A regional air mobility platform with scheduled routes and on-demand charter flights operated by third parties, Surf Air clarified in its statement on August 2 that “the transaction closed immediately prior to the listing of Surf Air Mobility on the New York Stock Exchange” on July 27. Southern Airways Express, considered the largest commuter airline and biggest passenger operator of Cessna Caravans in the United States by scheduled departures, is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company.

Southern chairman and chief executive Stan Little had already confirmed the merger to ch-aviation in late July. Little becomes the CEO of the combined entity, which expects to take delivery of the first of the 208s - to be acquired from Textron Aviation - in 2024 and the rest of the 100 turboprops over a five-year period. The deal with Textron is exclusive, allowing Surf Air to become the first carrier to deploy the hybrid variant of the nine-seater aircraft.

“Surf Air Mobility is building a regional air mobility platform to sustainably connect the world’s communities,” Little declared in the statement, adding that the new-look company will release its financial results for the second quarter of 2023 and provide an outlook for the full year in mid-August.

In an email to Johnathan Estes, manager of El Dorado Goodwin South Arkansas Regional South Arkansas Regional Airport who had asked how the merger might benefit the airport, Little said that deals like the order from Textron were a part of the arrangement of the merger, and that “none of these deals would have been possible without the public listing, and Southern Airways is pleased that all of them are now in place,” the digital newspaper El Dorado News reported on August 2.