United and a regional airline partner are hoping to use a new electric plane to revitalize short-haul flying. The Wall Street Journal reports: United’s venture fund and Mesa Air Group Inc. are investing in Heart Aerospace, a Swedish company developing a 19-seat electric aircraft. Tuesday’s deal is the latest in a series of bets on new aircraft concepts yet to be tested but that United said could help it reduce carbon emissions. Each airline has agreed to order 100 of the planes, once they have been built, as long as the final product meets the airlines’ specifications.
United and Mesa have previously announced plans to invest in Archer Aviation, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based company that is developing an electric flying taxi, and to purchase as many as 200 of those aircraft. United has also announced plans to buy 15 new supersonic jetliners being developed by Boom Technology Inc. None of these new aircraft have flown yet, and it will be years before any of them carry passengers. The companies said they expect the new plane, known as the ES-19, to begin service by 2026.