JSX signs LOI for up to 332 hybrid-electric private jets

By-the-seat private jet flight provider JSX says it wants to expand using hybrid-electric aircraft from Electra, Aura Aero, and Heart Aerospace.

By Doug Gollan, December 19, 2023

By-the-seat private jet flight provider JSX said it plans to acquire up to 332 hybrid-electric aircraft from manufacturers Electra, Aura Aero, and Heart Aerospace.

JSX Private Jet Orders

According to the announcement, JSX signed letters of intent to acquire up to 82 of the 9-seat Electra eSTOL aircraft with 32 firm orders and 50 options.

Additionally, it plans to buy up to 150 of the 19-seat Aura Aero Era with 50 firm orders and 100 options.

Finally, JSX wants to fly up to 100 of the 30-seat Heart Aerospace ES-30 with 50 firm orders and 50 options.

“Following the Biden Administration’s call last week for the aviation industry to cut carbon emissions and create more good-paying U.S. jobs, JSX expects to take delivery of its first hybrid-electric aircraft in 2028, shepherding the next chapter of regional aviation as the first in its category to adopt this impactful cutting-edge renewable energy technology,” the company said in a press release.

JSX currently operates 48 Embraer E135/145 family aircraft, each configured to offer 30 seats, and employs over 1,200 crewmembers.

Operating from private terminals enables customers to check in as little as 20 minutes before departure.

FAA Rule Changes?

JSX is currently awaiting a ruling from the FAA regarding possible rule changes that could impact how it operates.

In an October email to customers, JSX CEO Alex Wilcox wrote, “The FAA, under pressure from two huge airlines, is considering major changes to regulations that have been in effect for decades. These changes would ban JSX’s award-winning and innovative style of flying. If they succeed, you will lose the freedom to choose how and where to fly.”

Seven industry organizations also wrote to the FAA opposing rule changes.

In announcing the expansion plans, the company said, “JSX’s small community-friendly Part 135 and Part 380 Public Charter operations, combined with the exceptional performance capabilities of these hybrid-electric airplanes, enables service opportunities to thousands of federally funded airports otherwise inaccessible to people who can’t own or charter an entire aircraft.”

It continued, “JSX has mastered the trifecta of marketing, selling, and operating attainable by-the-seat public charter air service to numerous small communities that have no other regular air service.”

“JSX is, by far, America’s highest-rated and most innovative air carrier and today’s order of hybrid-electric aircraft exemplifies our commitment to achievable, customer-friendly, carbon-reducing solutions that will offer the lower costs essential to providing vital air service to smaller communities across the country,” says Alex Wilcox, JSX CEO & Co-Founder.

He continues, “As the network airlines order ever-larger aircraft, it is inevitable that more and more small markets will be abandoned. Electra, Aura Aero, and Heart Aerospace are visionary organizations that share in JSX’s commitment to serving smaller communities, working together with us to weave sustainable regional air travel back into the fabric of American commerce and freedom of movement.”

Electra eSTOL Aircraft

Electra JSX

The Electra eSTOL (electric Short Takeoff and Landing) aircraft is a low-emission airplane designed to transport nine passengers or 2,500 pounds of cargo with a range of up to 500 nautical miles. It can take off and land in less than 150 feet at very slow speeds with batteries that recharge in flight, eliminating the need for new ground infrastructure. Electra’s eSTOL aircraft leverages distributed electric propulsion and blown lift as well as a small turbine-powered generator to drive eight electric motors distributed across the wing, providing high lift at low airspeed and low drag at high speed. This enables the aircraft to cleanly and quietly operate closer to where people and cargo need to go, providing air connectivity where it doesn’t exist today, including to small cities and regional airports.

“Electra is thrilled to be a key part of JSX’s innovative vision for the future of regional air mobility. Our eSTOL aircraft is uniquely positioned to deliver on JSX’s commitment to provide sustainable access to small communities and large cities alike,” says JP Stewart, Electra’s Vice President and General Manager. “As the nation’s most experienced Part 380 operator, JSX provides a “hop-on” regional air service that is reminiscent of a time where flying was an enjoyable experience with large seats, friendly service, frequent direct flights, and low friction.”

Aura Aero Era

Aura JSX

Aura Aero’s Era is a brand-new eco-responsible aircraft capable of transporting 19 passengers or 1.9 tons of freight with a flexible seating configuration.

As a solution to the decarbonization of regional aviation, the hybrid-electric Era offers a range of up to 900 nautical miles in a pressurized cabin.

All-electric propulsion for takeoff reduces the Era’s noise footprint while minimizing environmental impact.

“Aura Aero is very proud to have been selected by JSX, one of the U.S.’s key supporters of regional network development,” says Jeremy Caussade, President and Co-Founder of Aura Aero.

He adds, “Era, our low-carbon aircraft, provides the performance required for JSX to bring air connectivity to more local communities. This agreement marks a new step in our development in the USA; we are thrilled by this new, exciting challenge!”

Heart Aerospace ES-30

JSX Heart Aerospace

The ES-30 is a regional hybrid-electric airplane with a standard seating capacity of 30 passengers, offering low emissions, low noise pollution, and low operating costs on short-haul routes.

The ES-30 can fly up to 500 miles, including 250 miles of hybrid range and up to 125 miles under full electric, zero-emissions power.

“We’re really excited to be part of JSX’s commitment toward sustainable regional air travel,” says Simon Newitt, President and Chief Commercial Officer at Heart Aerospace.

He added, “The ES-30, with its competitive economics and green credentials, fits very well with JSX’s vision, and we see not only the opportunity to reconnect many regional routes lost over the years but also open many more new ones.”

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