In the agreements, Jetstream, which focuses on commercially operated turboprop regional aircraft and engines, agreed to finance up to $450 million through a customized operating lease and sale structure aimed at funding Surf Air Mobility’s expanding fleet of turboprop aircraft.
Surf Air Mobility, the parent company to Surf Air, a regional carrier that operates a fleet of un-modified Pilatus PC–12s, Cessna Caravans, and Cirrus SR22s throughout, California, entered a relationship with Textron Aviation in July 2021 to develop an electrified Cessna Grand Caravan, beginning with a hybrid-electric Grand Caravan. The hybrid-electric powertrain does not require the charging infrastructure targeted for commercial certification in 2025.
“We believe the customized aircraft leasing structure from Jetstream will provide us a capital efficient way to more rapidly expand our operations at the scale necessary for a future when electrified aircraft unlock the latent demand for convenient, affordable regional travel on new routes across the U.S.,” Sudhin Shahani, founder of Surf Air Mobility, said. “Jetstream’s proven record of leasing aircraft in this asset class at scale, especially for the Cessna Grand Caravan, will help strengthen Surf Air Mobility’s position in the regional mobility and turboprop category.”
Additionally, Jetstream expressed its “intent to commit to purchase up to 250 hybrid and fully-electric powertrains from SAM over the course of five years.” That commitment is subject to FAA certifications, price, and other negotiating factors.
“We believe the regional turboprop asset category is positioned for significant growth over the next decade as electrified aircraft enter into operations,” said Jetstream Aviation Capital CEO Stuart Klaskin in a statement. “With electrified commercial aviation around the corner, we’re looking forward to lending our expertise in this growth segment of the aircraft market.”