Regent Craft secures Japan Airlines investment

REGENT CRAFT INC. has secured a strategic investment from Japan Airlines Innovation Fund. Pictured is Regent’s Viceroy Seaglider, which took flight for the first time over Narragansett Bay, the company announced in September. / COURTESY REGENT CRAFT INC.

NORTH KINGSTOWN – “Seaglider” technology startup Regent Craft Inc. has secured a strategic investment from Japan Airlines Innovation Fund, the Quonset-based company announced last month, bringing its total fundraising to more than $45 million.

Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of Regent, said in a statement that the investment “speaks to the growing adoption of seaglider technology by major airlines.

“At REGENT, we’re at the helm of ushering in a completely new era in sustainable transportation, and JAL Innovation Fund’s investment gives us the resources and support that we need to unveil an innovative approach for regional travel at lower costs, faster speeds, and zero emissions,” he continued.

The company’s Seaglider flies within one wingspan of the water’s surface to “take advantage of numerous aerodynamic and operational efficiencies, enabling increased payload capability and greater range than other electric aircraft concepts.”

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Yasushi Noda, executive officer and senior vice president of digital innovation at Japan Airlines, spoke confidently of the technology, stating that the airline believes the seagliders “are a safe, sustainable and economical solution.”

Regent, founded in Burlington, Mass., moved its headquarters to Quonset Business Park last year following a $13 million tax credit approval from the R.I. Commerce Corp.

To qualify for the tax credits, the company committed to creating 300 new jobs in Rhode Island over a 10-year period.

The company intends to service commercial passengers by 2025.

Jacquelyn Voghel is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Voghel@PBN.com.

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