United Airlines to buy 100, 19-seat electric planes

U.S. carrier United Airlines ordered 100 19-seat ES-19 electric planes from Swedish startup Heart Aerospace on Tuesday, targeting battery-powered regional flights.

United's newest “innovation-related” statement comes as major airlines face pressure to lower emissions.

In a statement, the U.S. carrier's venture funding arm said it is investing an undisclosed amount with Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Mesa Airlines.

United would not divulge the order's worth, which depends on the aircraft's safety, business, and operating requirements.

Under identical conditions, Mesa would buy 100 more ES-19s that can fly clients 250 miles.

The size and weight of electric plane batteries limit them to short urban or commuter flights.

United may connect hubs like Chicago O'Hare to smaller trips with the plane. Legacy carriers cut several routes due to cost.

"With a lower cost profile you can bring back more smaller markets than with a jet-fueled aircraft," said United Airlines Ventures president Mike Leskinen in an interview.

“We don’t want to wait for 50, 75, 125-seat aircraft,” Leskinen added. We wish to invest in a company with a substantial technology

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