Jun 22, 2023
ZeroAvia today announced that it has signed an agreement with French renting company Green Aerolease to provide ZA600 hydrogen-electric engines. Green Aerolease plans to deploy the powertrains in its lessor fleet, as an example with French airline Finistair which will look to deploy them to power its own zero-emission routes, in particular from Brittany, including Brest Bretagne Airport.
France has recently enacted a ban on short haul domestic flights between cities that are linked by a train journey of less than 2.5 hours. ZeroAvia’s first hydrogen-electric product is a 600kW engine for 9–19 seat aircraft and targets market entry by 2025 with a 300 nautical mile range. This means trips within France and from France to other near countries would be possible, as well as moving existing flights to zero-emission, including some public service obligation (PSO) routes.
For smaller regional operators, zero-emission flight can be a big growth opportunity as well as a solution for emissions impact. ZeroAvia predicts a steep reduction in operating costs thanks to the reduction in maintenance required and lower fuel costs as green hydrogen production matures. A report by NASA suggests that reductions in operating cost of around 40% can lead to a “huge expansion” of demand for regional flight.
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James Peck, Chief Customer Officer, ZeroAvia, said: “Finistair already provides vital connectivity to remote communities, and implementing zero-emission technology can help the business expand its operations. As an early mover in signing a pre-order for hydrogen-electric Green Aerolease’s customer set, have a massive opportunity to capture market share.”
Charles Cabillic, Founder, Green Aerolease, said: “We are very proud to move forward with ZeroAvia in order to decarbonize aviation. With this kind of new propulsion, we will be able to develop air transportation for passengers without carbon emissions. This will definitely revolutionize aviation and take it into a new era.”
ZeroAvia recently flight tested a prototype of its ZA600 for the first time aboard a Dornier 228 aircraft at its UK base in Kemble, Gloucestershire, in January. Hydrogen-electric engines use hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity, which is then used to power electric motors to turn the aircraft’s propellers. The only emission is water.