ZeroAvia has partnered with Braathens Regional Airlines, Skellefteå Airport and energy company Skellefteå Kraft to bring zero-emission flights to Sweden.
The four-party agreement will develop commercial routes using ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain systems on routes from Skellefteå Airport in Northeast Sweden. As part of the agreement, ZeroAvia will work with the airport, the municipal energy company Skellefteå Kraft and Braathens Regional Airlines to demonstrate flights and explore launching commercial operations.
Braathens Regional Airlines plans to provide aircraft for future demonstrations and to explore commercial routes. The partners will examine the potential for operating a range of regional aircraft on commercial passenger routes using both ZeroAvia’s ZA600 powertrain, designed for 9-19 seat aircraft with a 2025 launch target, and its ZA2000, designed for 40-80 seat aircraft (such as ATR and Dash 8 families), with a plan for entry into service by 2027. Braathens Regional Airlines currently operates 14 ATR-72 aircraft on routes across Sweden, Finland and Denmark and will in the coming months’ start charter flights operating eight Airbus 319/320.
In conjunction with the partners, Skellefteå Airport will investigate the operational infrastructure required to support the hydrogen-powered flights and opportunities for further decarbonization presented by green hydrogen. Additionally, Skellefteå Kraft will analyze the potential for hydrogen production and supply as part of the project with ZeroAvia.
The partners assert that hydrogen-electric propulsion promises lower operating costs and zero-emission flights for airlines, as well as reduced air and noise pollution around airport locations. These benefits can in turn mean greater use of regional air travel, increasing productivity and connectivity and providing a boost for regional economies.
The project in Sweden is further traction for ZeroAvia’s plans to introduce its zero-emission propulsion technology on regional routes over the next few years, with partnerships with Rotterdam the Hague Airport in the Netherlands, Edmonton International Airport in Canada, and AGS and Birmingham Airports already in place. The company has also secured in excess of 1,500 provisional orders for its hydrogen-electric powertrains over the course of the last 18 months.
James Peck, chief customer officer at ZeroAvia, said, “Sweden is one of the most ambitious countries in the world in pursuit of net-zero targets for aviation, with an overall fossil fuel-free aspiration by 2045, and planning for all domestic flights to be fossil free by 2030. Aviation will become a larger proportion of emissions as other sectors abate, so the country will need to see true zero-emission air travel that goes beyond combustion fuels. Bold projects such as the one planned for Skellefteå are crucial in this endeavor.”
Ulrika Matsgård, CEO of Braathens Regional Airlines, commented, “To achieve our airline’s ambitious goals to reach net-zero for our international flights by 2045, we need to speed up the development of technology. We see hydrogen-powered aircraft as one important solution for international flights in Europe. It’s also important for us to contribute to initiatives started here in the Nordics.”
Joachim Nordin, CEO at Skellefteå Kraft, said, ”Skellefteå Kraft wants to contribute to the energy transition for sustainable aviation. We are still in a very early stage regarding hydrogen but think that renewable hydrogen is a possibility and a part of the solution to energy and climate change challenges.”
Robert Lindberg, CEO of Skellefteå Airport, stated, “We see an increasing travel demand in the northern part of all Nordic countries. If we manage to test, develop and commercialize hydrogen aviation solutions in Skellefteå, we can help to increase regional connectivity in a truly sustainable way.”
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