Aura Aero’s hybrid electric regional aircraft project continues to gain momentum. Already with more than 330 pre-orders and purchase intentions from nine airlines and aircraft lessors at the time of the Paris Air Show, the ERA program has received a major new commitment: a US regional airline has just signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for 50 corporate copies with an option for 100 additional devices.
This signing is in addition to the one obtained at the end of 2021 with the rental company Amadeo based in Ireland. Qualified then as “colossal” Jérémy Caussade, president and co-founder of Aura Aero, it was about 200 aircraft. With these two large contracts and several other smaller deals, ERA’s order book is approaching 500 aircraft, including options, worth close to $8 billion.
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Orders to be confirmed
All these commitments must now be confirmed. These are still pre-orders only, without paying a deposit. For this, Aura Aero must complete the certification of its ERA. This is planned for 2028, after the first flight in 2026. This represents a shift from the plan announced in 2021, which called for liftoff in 2024 and commissioning in 2027.
This certification will be followed by the start of deliveries, then the operational debut of the equipment. Aura Aero says it in a press release “First entries into commercial services planned by 2030”. Meanwhile, the manufacturer has yet to complete fundraising of at least 50 million euros, without any problems. Especially since it is simultaneously developing its range of Integral R, S and E two-seaters and has committed to the construction of 40,000 m2 dedicated to the series production of electric aircraft at Toulouse-Francazal airport.
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the American establishment
JSX is expected to be among the first to touch down with the aircraft, with deliveries scheduled starting in 2028. It will deploy them on its regional network, which today offers daily service to 24 destinations across the United States, primarily in the Southwest. The operator currently operates a fleet of 47 Embraer ERJ135 aircraft and 145 regional jets with approximately 30 seats.
With a 19-seat cabin and ERA autonomy of 1,600 km, including just over 220 km (150 nm) in all-electric mode, the aircraft could be used to beam around major regional airports across the United States. serve secondary cities.
Alex Wilcox, chief executive of JSX, said in a statement: “Today’s order for ERA, the Aura Aero hybrid electric aircraft, illustrates our commitment to providing our customers with solutions that reduce carbon emissions and enable the lowest airfares necessary to provide vital air services in small areas across the country. »
For Jérémy Caussade, this deal with JSX “marks a new stage in (its) development in the US”. The manufacturer states that it has “set up an American team and set up the development of its industrial footprint in the US”.