A Comeback for Regional Air Travel?

Full disclosure: I live in Tartu, a city that could use better airport service.

A while back, I got all excited when I read about the advent of “jet taxis”. These smaller planes would be cheaper to operate because they would use composite materials and therefore would be lighter. It would be a godsend for regional airports.  Sadly, I haven’t heard much more about this since then.

In the meantime, regional airports are not thriving. Carriers have found that they can reduce unit costs by mainly flying into big hubs. But I have not given up hope on the idea that technology will at some point reduce the cost of a 1 to 2 hour flight to make it worth while. For example, flying to Helsinki from Tartu takes 45 minutes air time. Via land, you have a 2.5 hour bus ride to Tallinn, and then a 3 hour boat ride.

My dream may be coming true. Boeing and Air Blue have invested in a start-up that wants to manufacture mid-sized electric powered jets. The claim is that these could reduce flight cost by 40%.

Count me in!


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