Mokulele Airlines (MHO, Kona) is to bring a fleet of 12-passenger Vickers Viceroy all-electric seagliders to the Hawaiian islands, having been announced as the local launch partner for the Regent Craft seagliders currently in development.

This follows the USD250 million order for twenty Regent Craft Seagliders - a new type of wing-in-ground-effect (WIG) vehicle that uses hydrofoils and distributed propulsion systems – signed by Mokulule’s parent Southern Airways Express (9X, Memphis Int'l) in December 2021. Southern Airways Express has paid firm deposits for fifteen Vickers Viceroys, each holding up to 12 passengers, and five Monarchs, which can hold up to 100 passengers.

In a statement on June 21, Regent announced Mokulele Airlines as its airline launch partner for a Hawaii seaglider transportation network, with the airline announcing its intent to bring a fleet of Regent’s Viceroy seagliders to the island chain.

Regent also announced that Pacific Current, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, was its preferred energy and infrastructure partner in Hawaii, focusing on vehicle financing, developing and providing access to renewable energy, and electric charging infrastructure. Regent and Pacific Current will jointly fund a feasibility study on introducing seagliders for inter-and intra-island air transport in Hawaii.

This followed a community engagement tour on the project in 2021. “Key members of the Regent management team have spent almost a full year engaging with stakeholders across the public, private, and civic sectors to understand the needs of the residents, learn more about the unique ecosystems associated with the region, and support state officials thinking through Hawaii’s sustainability and resiliency goals,” the manufacturer said.

Market research is also underway into the economic, environmental, and community benefits and challenges of introducing seagliders to Hawaii.

“The Regent seaglider is a complete game-changer for the State of Hawaii,” commented Southern Airways Express and Mokulele Airlines Chief Executive Officer Stan Little. “Not only can this vehicle help the state meet its sustainability and resiliency goals more quickly, but this will enable our airline to offer new services that aren’t possible today. The seaglider network gives us the ability to stand up a fast, convenient, affordable transportation solution that will not require passengers to go to an airport. Just imagine going from Kona Harbour to downtown Honolulu in less than 55 minutes door to door,” he said.