Hawaiian Airlines (HA, Honolulu) has agreed to invest an undisclosed amount in Regent Craft, a Boston-based seaglider start-up, as it sees the 100-seat Monarch as a potential future vehicle for inter-island routes in Hawai'i.

"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'," Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Avi Mannis said.

The airline did not commit, even tentatively, to ordering any aircraft in the announcement. The Monarch is scheduled to enter service by 2028.

Regent's vehicles are designed to use the wing-in-ground effect and operate at a very low altitude above the ocean's surface. Powered by all-electric motors, they will use existing dock infrastructure. The start-up says that its seagliders will be able to fly up to 180 miles using current battery technology and possibly up to 500 miles once it evolves.

As seagliders, Regent's vehicles will be regulated by the US Coast Guard rather than the US Federal Aviation Administration, possibly making the certification procedure much faster. This will also allow the carrier to bypass the 1,500-hour requirement for pilots and operate the seagliders with a single pilot.

Regent is currently backed by venture funds including Thiel Capital and Mark Cuban Companies. In late 2021, Southern Airways Express signed a tentative order for fifteen 12-seat Viceroys and five 100-seat Monarchs. In early 2022, Mesa Airlines announced an investment in the start-up, accompanied by an order for up to 200 units, comprising both the Viceroys and the Monarchs.