“I consider us very fortunate to have backers like JetBlue and Boeing,” Zunum Aero founder and CEO Ashish Kumar told Business Insider. “We have been engaged with both companies for about a year, and both are as passionate as we are in this opportunity to reinvent regional air travel.”
Zunum is working to build 10-50 seat planes that ‘sip fuel only when they have to,’ and the firm claims their design could decrease door-to-door travel times by 40 percent on busy routes. The firm plans to have regional hybrid-electric aircraft ready by the early 2020s. At launch, they say this will cut travel time and reduce costs for flights around 700 miles. And, by 2030, this is expected to jump to 1,000-mile flights.
Our charter is looking beyond the horizon,’’ said Steve Nordlund, who heads Boeing HorizonX, the Chicago-based manufacturer’s new venture-capital arm. “We’re looking at traditional, non-traditional partnerships that help us accelerate innovation and market opportunities.