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Air Carrier JSX Places Order for Hybrid-Electric Planes

Dallas-based jet carrier JSX has placed orders for up to 300 hybrid-electric aircraft that can carry up to 30 passengers. The orders were placed with three manufacturers: Electra, Aura Aero and Heart Aerospace.

The jet carrier JSX logo on a sign.
(TNS) — Dallas-based “hop on” jet carrier JSX is plotting a step into the future with the order of up to 300 hybrid electric aircraft that carry from nine to 30 passengers.

It would be a major addition for the point-to-point plane service company, which uses 50-seat jets to carry 30 or fewer passengers and operates from private terminals.

Orders for the gas-electric hybrid aircraft are with three different manufacturers: Electra, Aura Aero and Heart Aerospace.

All the jets are propeller aircraft that are set to enter the market in the coming years.

JSX CEO Alex Wilcox said the new stable of jets will allow the company to expand its reach to smaller airports for regional flying, which will give it greater access to underserved markets in areas such as Texas and California.

“It’s less replacing airplane travel and more of a replacement for driving,” Wilcox said.

JSX now operates about 45 Embraer 135 and 145 jets, which can travel about 1,500 to 2,500 miles.

The new planes will reduce fuel usage by about 50%, he said, enabling the company to cut the cost of flying by 10 to 15% on energy costs alone. They are also quieter than the current generation of jet aircraft.

JSX has firm orders for 32 jets from Electra along with options for 50 more. The nine-seat Electra aircraft has a range of about 500 nautical miles and can land and take off in less than 150 feet.

Aura will supply as many as 150 of its 19-seat Aura Aero Era planes that can travel about 900 miles using all-electric propulsion for takeoff. JSX has 50 firm orders with 100 options for the Aura Aero aircraft.

JSX’s order with Heart Aerospace includes another 50 firm orders and 50 options for its 30-seat planes that have a 500-mile range.

This isn’t JSX’s first foray into hybrid jets. In 2018, the company put in orders with Boeing-backed Zunum Aero for hybrid-to-electric planes, a plane design that could theoretically travel 1,000 miles. But that company folded in 2019.

Other airlines such as Fort Worth-based American Airlines and Chicago-based United have put in speculative orders for electric vehicle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, but those designs are also years away. DFW International Airport recently announced a partnership to test the concept with an air taxi manufacturer.

Wilcox said the new planes with 19 or fewer passengers could operate without a flight attendant and any of the planes could operate in the future with just one pilot due to coming technology improvements, which is not allowed now.

JSX has already drawn the ire of the traditional airline industry for skirting federal guidelines to operate a scheduled service without having to use TSA or having some of the same oversight as bigger carriers such as American and Dallas-based Southwest.

©2023 The Dallas Morning News, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.