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Charter Operators Commit to Buying Electron Air Taxi

By Charles Alcock

A pair of air taxi operators have agreed to add Electron Aerospace’s planned four-passenger electric aircraft to their fleets. Germany’s Air2E and U.S.-based Hopscotch Air this week signed memorandums of understanding covering an unspecified number of the Electron 5 model and a payment schedule, taking the Dutch start-up’s tally of prospective orders to almost €200 million ($214 million).

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    Based in the New York area, Hopscotch Air was founded in 2009 and operates a fleet of light aircraft, including the Cirrus SR20 piston single. It offers on-demand charter flights and a membership program, with some flights provided by partner operators across the northeast U.S. and Mid-Atlantic region.

    Air2E started operating charter services in 2017, operating aircraft such as the Diamond DA42 and the Pilatus PC12. The Berlin-based operator currently offers flights between European cities with routes of up to 1,000 kilometers.

    “Securing orders from two pioneers in the regional air mobility sector like Air2E and Hopscotch Air affirms the market fit of our Electron 5 aircraft,” said Electron Aerospace co-founder and chief commercial officer Marc-Henry de Jong. “It’s a testament to the trust and commitment our partners place in our vision for a sustainable aviation future.”

    Air2E CEO Norbert Werle said its choice of an all-electric aircraft was largely based on the anticipated environmental benefits, allowing it to deliver “zero direct carbon dioxide emissions in line with our dedication to fully sustainable business travel.”

    Andrew Schmertz, Hopscotch Air’s CEO indicated its choice was based primarily on economic factors. “The reduced operating costs of the Electron 5 will allow us to significantly broaden our customer base, providing more affordable and accessible air travel alternatives.”

    Rotterdam-based Electron Aerospace unveiled a new design for its aircraft last month. It is aiming to complete EASA type certification in time to start European deliveries in 2028, and will certify the aircraft with the FAA for U.S. customers like Hopscotch.

    As battery technology continues to improve incrementally, the company believes the Electron 5 model will have an operational range of 500 kilometers (310 miles), including anticipated safety reserves for energy equal to an additional 250 km. According to co-founder and CEO Josef Mouris, for the regional air mobility market, the company initially intends to address city-pair sectors of around 370 km and at a speed of 350 km/h.

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