Surf Air IPO To Fund Hybrid-electric Fleet Conversions

 - May 18, 2022, 1:10 PM
Surf Air Mobility's IPO-funded expansion plans focus on converting Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft to hybrid-electric propulsion, using a powertrain developed by MagniX. (Image: Surf Air Mobility)

Flight-booking platform Surf Air Mobility (SAM) intends to go public after combining its business with special purpose acquisition company Tuscan Holdings, the companies said today. SAM expects the deal to raise around $467 million to fund its effort to introduce electric aircraft to the fleets of its partner operators.

The transaction, expected to close in the second half of this year, was announced just a few weeks after confirmation that an earlier plan for Surf Air to acquire MagniX’s rival powertrain developer Ampaire had been abandoned.

SAM’s plans are now focused on converting Cessna Grand Caravan turboprop singles to a hybrid-electric propulsion system being developed by MagniX in partnership with airframe modifications specialist and systems integrator AeroTec. California-based SAM said it will now support efforts to bring this modification to market under an STC it will own. 

In a related deal, SAM will acquire U.S. regional airline Southern Airways, which operates a fleet of Grand Caravans, to expand the Surf Air network. It also announced a partnership this week with Signature Aviation, with the FBO chain making its facilities and services available, including sustainable aviation fuel, for Surf Air flights. Signature also intends to develop infrastructure for recharging future electric aircraft under this collaboration.

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