KinectAir partners with Electra.aero to focus on regional air mobility
KinectAir has partnered with Electra.aero to meet “growing demand in the underserved” regional travel market.
The operating system for booking private charter has collected proprietary data from flight itineraries that evidence “strong appetite” for regional air mobility (RAM) under 500miles.
The firms said the combination of Electra’s eSTOL aircraft operated on KinectAir’s software-defined network “unlocks the promise of RAM by lowering the cost of point-to-point air travel”.
KinectAir CEO, Jonathan Evans, said: “KinectAir makes booking private air travel easier and more affordable through our smartphone app with AI-backed route dispatch and demand generation capabilities, thereby reducing empty legs and lowering prices. Out of over 40,000 itineraries entered into our software, 83 percent of customers want to bypass the largest 30 airport hubs in order to use only point-to-point airport pairs.”
A newly published NASA-funded study by Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering also indicated potential for RAM in fixed-wing electric aircraft. Passengers would fly distances over 100miles ahead of other modes of travel given the option to fly to and from convenient local airports, it found. All in all, the study identified over 4,200 origin-destination markets connecting 980 airports across the US with a minimum frequency of two flights per day.
“We are presenting today what the future AAM market will look like, with the four- and eight-seat aircraft in our app. We have found that our customers book an average flight distance of 215miles, so we know from our software data that the sweet spot for regional air mobility is between 100 and 300miles,” added Evans.
Under the partnership, KinectAir will use the eSTOL aircraft to serve the point-to-point regional market in the Pacific Northwest, with further expansion in both the US and Europe later.
Marc Ausman, Electra’s chief product officer, said: “Electra’s hybrid-electric eSTOL aircraft provides a better way of moving people and cargo on regional routes – faster and cleaner than alternative means of travel. Convenient access to a regional air mobility network for passengers is crucial to scaling the service. KinectAir provides that missing link, and we will work closely with the KinectAir team to integrate Electra’s eSTOL into their extended regional air mobility network.”