Surf Air Mobility and Tuscan Holdings have jointly announced that they have entered into a definitive business combination agreement resulting, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain closing conditions, in Surf Air Mobility becoming a publicly listed company.
The acquisition of Southern, also announced today, and the completion of the business combination with THCA (together, the “Transactions”) positions SAM to be a leader in the electrification of commercial aviation, providing it with resources necessary to bring electrified powertrain technology to market and expanding and electrifying regional consumer scheduled and charter flight services. Following completion of the Transactions, and the successful deployment of SAM’s proprietary powertrain technology, SAM plans to deploy the world’s largest fleet of hybrid electric aircraft on regional routes being serviced today and on additional routes in new markets. SAM intends for its hybrid electric propulsion to reduce operating costs and reduce emissions from regional air travel by offering original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) and third-party operators the ability to upgrade existing aircraft to hybrid electric powertrains.
“We believe deploying hybrid electric propulsion technology on existing aircraft at scale will be the most significant step we can take toward decarbonisation of aviation in this decade,” said Sudhin Shahani, Co-founder and CEO of Surf Air Mobility. “We’re at a moment when the increasing consumer demand for faster, affordable, and cleaner regional travel will be met with SAM’s electrification ecosystem to accelerate the industry’s adoption of green flying.”
SAM’s agreements with AeroTEC and magniX will help the Company accelerate the introduction of its proprietary electrification technology. magniX has successfully flown the world’s largest fully-electric aircraft to date, a prototype Cessna Grand Caravan 208B, which it calls the eCaravan. SAM is designing its initial hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravans to have the same flight range capabilities as their fully combustion counterparts, which will allow the Company to utilise the hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft across its own existing network, connecting more airports with direct flights and building a regional mass transport platform to sustainably connect communities across the U.S. SAM also intends to make hybrid electric powertrain upgrades available to fleet owners on and off its consumer platform, as well as license its technology to OEMs for new aircraft types.
SAM’s proprietary electrified propulsion technology, once developed, would target carbon emission reductions of up to 50% on its first-generation Cessna Grand Caravans, helping to reduce the 915 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted by the aviation industry globally per year. By targeting direct operating cost reductions of up to 25% on its first-generation Cessna Grand Caravans, lower cost point-to-point flight networks can connect previously economically untenable markets with non-stop and direct, regularly scheduled flights. SAM’s initial hybrid electric aircraft will not require charging stations, new takeoff and landing infrastructure, or changes to zoning, allowing the aircraft to operate anywhere in the U.S., unlocking more air travel potential for over 5,000 underserved public airports.
“Surf Air Mobility’s practical approach to scaling the decarbonisation of aviation is built on a base of tangible revenue, industry-leading electrification technology, and significant growth prospects for the future,” stated Stephen A. Vogel, Tuscan Holdings. “Surf Air Mobility’s management team is first class, and with their leadership we have confidence this transaction will enable the Company to reach its true growth potential.”
SAM’s planned acquisition of Southern Airways Corporation (“Southern”), subject to satisfaction or waiver of the remaining closing conditions set forth in the Southern Agreement, including the completion of all required regulatory reviews and approvals, is expected to expand the companies’ collective regional airline network to U.S. cities across the Mid-Atlantic, Gulf South, Rocky Mountains, West Coast, New England, and Hawaii, where Southern currently operates. Southern Airways Express operates the largest passenger fleet of Cessna Grand Caravans in the U.S. SAM intends to electrify Southern’s existing fleet utilising the Company’s proprietary electrified propulsion technology.
“Surf Air Mobility is positioned to bring benefits to consumers quickly while creating opportunities for the entire aviation industry. Our hybrid electric propulsion technologies will be the building blocks upon which reduced operating cost and green aviation can be realised,” stated Surf Air Mobility’s Chairman, Carl Albert. “We’re thrilled to be merging with THCA as they share our ambition of advancing the future of flight for the good of people and the planet.”