Electric seaglider firm expands to PH

At a glance

  • US-based all-electric seagliders manufacturer, REGENT, forged  a deal with local charter operator INAEC Aviation Corporation to bring Seagliders to the Philippines, the latter announced Wednesday, May 31.

US-based all-electric seagliders manufacturer, REGENT, forged a deal with local charter operator INAEC Aviation Corporation to bring seagliders to the Philippines, the latter announced Wednesday, May 31.

REGENT seagliders are a new category of maritime vehicle that combine the high speed of an airplane with the low operating cost of a boat.

These all-electric, zero-emission vessels operate exclusively over water and leverage existing dock infrastructure to carry people and goods up to 180 miles with current battery technology.

REGENT has already obtained $8 billion in orders for over 500 seagliders from major airlines and leading ferry operators from 5 continents.

The company expects its Viceroy seagliders to enter service by mid-decade.

INAEC will initially operate a fleet of fifteen 12-passenger Viceroy seagliders to serve tourists using sustainable coastal transport all over the archipelago.

Based on information gathered online, a seaglider costs at least $125,000 each, but the cost may double, depending on the number of sensors.

“Seagliders are a game changer for the Philippines,” says Jay Lopez, INAEC President. “They will open up new opportunities to reach currently inaccessible islands and allow visitors to experience more of the natural beauty our country has to offer."

"We’re excited to work with REGENT to introduce innovative technologies like seagliders that are safe and affordable while being consistent with the Lopez Group’s strategic direction to provide environment-friendly and sustainable modes of transport for travelers,” he underscored.

REGENT and INAEC are working together to engage various stakeholders, including the broader public, to identify infrastructure and operating requirements ahead of the launch of the Seagliders commercial service.

Already, REGENT has received an Approval in Principle for its Viceroy seaglider from Bureau Veritas, a company established in 1828 to provide testing, inspection, and certification services to maritime manufacturers and operators.

The Approval in Principle marks an important milestone in the classification and eventual certification of the vessel.

“Island nations like the Philippines are a perfect match for seagliders, where communities are connected by shared coastal waterways and can benefit from more affordable and convenient mobility between them,” stressed Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of REGENT.

“We’re thrilled to have such strong alignment with INAEC in our shared mission to deliver safe, sustainable, and memorable passenger experiences for all travelers.”

Overall, REGENT is a leader in sustainable maritime transportation, creating a new category of vehicle that is fast, efficient, and emission-free.

REGENT’s seagliders combine the speed of an airplane with the maneuverability of a boat and travel exclusively over water between ports while using existing dock infrastructure.

Seagliders can be seamlessly integrated into any fleet.

INAEC is the only charter operator that provides air transport services to the oil and gas industry in the Philippines, an industry known for its stringent international safety standards.

It manages a fleet of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, and currently has hangars located in Manila, Clark International Airport, and El Nido, Palawan.