United Signs Agreement For 100 Electric Airliners


In partnership with Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and Mesa Airlines, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) has signed a conditional agreement to acquire 100 ES-19 all-electric airliners from Sweden-based electric aircraft startup Heart Aerospace. The agreement is contingent on the aircraft, which is still in the early stages of development, meeting United’s “safety, business and operating requirements.” In addition, Mesa plans to add 100 ES-19s to its fleet under similar conditions.

“Breakthrough Energy Ventures is the leading voice of investors who are supporting clean-energy technology creation,” said UAV President Michael Leskinen. “We share their view that we have to build companies who have real potential to change how industries operate and, in our case, that means investing in companies like Heart Aerospace who are developing a viable electric airliner.”

Heart says the ES-19 will have a 400-kilometer (216-NM) range, have a charge time of less than 40 minutes and seat up to 19 people. The company is aiming to fly the aircraft for the first time in 2024 and have it certified for commercial operation under EASA CS-23 regulations by the end of 2026. According to United, UAV and BEV are some of Heart’s first investors.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Might as well be “buying” magic carpets.
    You know – just the ones that meet undefined requirements.

  2. At least this electric-airplane press release contains the caveat “The airplane has to do what we want within our system or no deal.”

  3. You do have to marvel at their optimism. “early stages of development” to first flight in three years. First flight to certified in two.

  4. 216 nm range, 19 seats? Wow! Where do I sign up? Might as well start using horses and buggies to get to the airport too!

    I wonder how this fits into the current push from the mainlines to move away from 50 seat RJs and start using the 70 seaters?

    • Don’t be to surprised if you are taking a horse and buggy to the airport in the not to distant future.
      Who would have thought we’d be talking about today what we are talking about, just a year ago. Did I say that right?

  5. Just another airline screaming “Fly with us because we’re green” while pulling the green wool over the eyes of the gullible and il-informed John Q Public Perhaps Yars is correct – anyone up for some stock in a magic carpet company? Prototype forthcoming….

  6. Greenwash by United, yes, but why not? I personally have absolutely no confidence in the viability of electric airplanes for most mass transportation purposes, but this sort of thing opens the door to financing. Adequate financing means the idea will get a proper try at very little public (taxpayer) cost, and what’s wrong with that?

  7. New Atlas reporter Loz Blain does an interview with Lilium’s Chief Program Officer Yves Yemsi. CPO Yves Yemsi discusses the regulatory hoops EVERY commercially used aircraft must jump through.

    Quote from the article: Does that mean the aviation authorities will need to adjust their processes? “I really like that question,” says Yemsi. “The answer is no. The air authorities will not lower their standard…”


    This article references the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Reality Index ( https://aamrealityindex.com/ ).