JetSuite (Santa Ana, CA) has signed an agreement with Zunum Aero, a US start-up aircraft manufacturer, which will see it become the launch operator of the new hybrid-electric business aircraft once deliveries commence in 2022.

"JetSuite, with its tradition of shifting paradigms in aviation, is an ideal partner for us in this launch collaboration. We have a shared vision for fundamentally transforming and improving the way that people live and travel," Zunum Aero CEO Ashish Kumar has said.

The commitment covers a total of 100 yet-unnamed Zunum hybrid aircraft. The type, first of a planned family of aircraft, will seat up to 12 passengers, fly at up to 340mph, and be optimised for journeys of up to 1,000 miles. According to the manufacturer, which is planning the maiden flight for 2019, the aircraft will emit up to 80% fewer pollutants than conventionally-powered jets.

JetSuite and its public charter unit JetSuiteX Air (XE, Rapid City Regional) have been founded by Alex Wilcox, who was also one of the founders of jetBlue Airways (B6, New York JFK) before. jetBlue is one of JetSuite's major investors and has also injected capital into Zunum Aero. JetSuite also counts Qatar Airways among its investors, while Zunum has received support from the Boeing's venture capital arm, HorizonX.