ZeroAvia today announced that it has signed an agreement with newly launched airline Ecojet for up to 70 hydrogen-electric, zero-emission engines.
Ecojet, which aims to become the flag carrier for green Britain, will begin operations in 2024 with conventionally powered aircraft operating routes to and from Edinburgh, before converting its fleet to become what it aims to be the world’s first electric airline.
It hopes to achieve this by retrofitting its aircraft with ZeroAvia’s ZA600 engines once certified.
Ecojet will be working with MONTE, ZeroAvia’s preferred ZA600 lessor partner, in bringing this groundbreaking technology to market. ZeroAvia is targeting type certification of the ZA600 engine in 2025.
The newly launched airline has also placed a larger order for the more powerful ZA2000 engine, designed for up to 80 seat regional turboprops and with an entry-in-service target of 2027.
This will open up the potential to fly aircraft such as the ATR72 and Dash 8 400, already popular on regional routes across the world.
Val Miftakhov, founder and CEO of ZeroAvia, said: “Clean aviation will mean increased regional air travel and new routes. Ecojet can capitalise [on this with] their clear focus on low-emission travel.
“The UK government’s ‘Jet Zero Strategy’ has set a great example for the world to follow, but the UK can go much further by being early to act and introducing some of the first zero-emission routes in the world.”
ZeroAvia, Ecojet and MONTE will work together with airports and other industry partners to identify and finance the first pathways to hydrogen-electric commercial operations.
Analysis by ZeroAvia shows that, if powered by UK wind-generated green hydrogen, domestic flights would have lower lifecycle carbon emissions per passenger than any other common mode of transport today, including fully occupied cars, domestic rail and coach travel.
Dale Vince, founder of Ecojet, said: “We don’t have to give up flying to live a green lifestyle or to get to net zero as a country – and this is big news. The technology is here now and the planes are coming very soon. Carbon free, guilt free flying is just around the corner.
“Although aviation is responsible for only a small part of all global emissions, it occupies a far bigger space than that in our psyche. The hearts and minds value of this new opportunity outweighs the carbon issue significantly.
“It shows that everything we need to do can be done with a low to zero carbon footprint – and that is big news and a big encouragement to us all.”
In June, ZeroAvia announced that it had signed a definitive purchase agreement with MONTE for 100 engines. MONTE will provide financing for Ecojet’s powertrain purchase, installation and operation, meaning the airline will become the lessor’s first confirmed customer and recipient of their currently reserved production slots with ZeroAvia.
The announcement comes after ZeroAvia this week secured $40m in funding from the UK Infrastructure Bank.