Heart Aerospace enters long-term partnership with Air New Zealand
Swedish electric aeroplane developer Heart Aerospace has signed a long-term deal with Air New Zealand (ANZ) to replace the airline’s De Havilland Dash 8-300s with zero-emission units.
Founded in 2018, Heart aims to support the air transport industry in achieving net-zero emissions, given how the sector contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Heart’s partnership with ANZ came after the startup unveiled the ES-30, a 30-seat electric aircraft for regional routes, back in September 2022. The new model aims to replace its previous 2020 model, ES-19, which accommodates 19 passengers.
At the inaugural event of the new model, Heart also announced that Air Canada and Saab would invest €4.67 million ($5 million) each into the startup’s venture.
A greener aviation industry
Co-founder and CEO Anders Forslund said Heart “could not be prouder” of being selected as a long-term partner by ANZ. Forslund described ANZ as one of the leading airlines in the green air travel industry.
In addition to Heart, ANZ also engages Brazilian aerospace firm Embraer and American zero-carbon aircraft fuel producer Universal Hydrogen for the project. ANZ said that the partnership would broaden its knowledge of future aircraft technologies.
“This isn’t about selecting a new aircraft. It’s about growing our collective understanding to advance a new era of travel,” ANZ chief sustainability officer Kiri Hannifin said. “These partners were selected because they are taking action now to progress decarbonizing the aviation industry.”
“Having Heart Aerospace as one of our long-term partners will grow our collective understanding of zero emissions aircraft technology as it develops and will give them the confidence, they are developing a product that’s viable for us.”
Kiri Hannifin, Chief of Sustainability Officer at Air New Zealand
Hannifin said she hoped the partnership with Heart would give the startup confidence that it had developed a viable product for use. The company expects to have a proof-of-concept aircraft by 2024 and start test flights by 2026.
Heart has also announced plans to establish comprehensive facilities, which will be powered by sustainable energy sources, at Gothenburg’s Säve Airport to revamp its electric aviation technology.
The new Northern Runway campus will host the startup’s offices, manufacturing division, flight test facilities, and space for institutional partners.
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