Southern Airways merger to introduce electric planes
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – Southern Airways Express has agreed to a merger with electric aviation firm Surf Air Mobility.
Southern Airways acquired Air Choice One, which operates at the Jonesboro Municipal Airport, back in March. The St. Louis-based airline has provided flights for Northeast Arkansas since 2012.
Under the deal, Surf Air will upgrade Southern Airways’ current fleet of nearly 40 Cessna Grand Caravans to hybrid electric planes.
In a news release, company officials said the modified planes will allow Southern Airways to reduce costs, provide lower fares and help bring non-stop, regularly scheduled flights to new markets.
The company also aims to reduce carbon emissions by up to 25% with its electric brands, as they will not require charging stations or changes to zoning, allowing the planes to operate anywhere in the U.S.
“The addition of Southern Airways will allow us to more rapidly bring green flying solutions to real flyers,” said Carl Albert, chairman of Surf Air. “Southern’s fleet of Cessna Caravans will be the foundation for the next generation of aircraft as we upgrade the fleet to hybrid electric powertrains.”
Surf Air currently offers charter flights in Little Rock, Bentonville, Fort Smith, and Texarkana.
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