Charter operator Welojets this week joined a growing list of prospective customers for Electra’s hybrid-electric eSTOL aircraft, signing a letter of intent for 32 of the model. Announcing the deal on October 18 at the NBAA-BACE business aviation trade show, the Virginia-based startup said its provisional order book now runs to 1,000 aircraft with a combined value of $3 billion, which would imply a list price of $3 million.
Electra’s customer base spans regional airlines, urban air mobility providers, charter groups, helicopter operators, and emergency medical support providers based in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia. These include Bristow Group, Flyv, Ebird, Harbour Air, Tailwind Air, Ravn Alaska, MintAir, Events Air Cargo, Flapper, Yugo, Gold Aviation, Skyportz, Northwest Seaplanes, and the El Azufre resort.
Welojets, which operates a fleet of business aircraft in Europe and the Americas, said its interest in the eSTOL aircraft is part of a plan to develop new markets in a more sustainable way. Its employees are spread across 20 locations.
Electra now says its model will be able to carry up to nine passengers or 2,500 pounds of freight on sectors of up to around 400 nm. With its short-takeoff-and-landing performance, it will be able to operate from no more than 300 feet of runway and cruise at 175 knots. The company expects to be ready to start test flights with a two-seat technology demonstrator by year-end.
“Welojets fully embraces the electric aviation revolution and we are thrilled to work on Electra to deliver cleaner and cost-effective flights to our customers,” said company president Alfredo Lisdero. “We plan to fly the Electra eSTOL aircraft into existing airports as well as use it to expand our operations into new markets that cannot be served currently with traditional fixed-wing aircraft. Thanks to the Electra aircraft’s cost and performance advantages, we see many opportunities to grow our services throughout Europe and Latin America.”