ZeroAvia signs deal to develop zero-emission commercial flights in Sweden
ZeroAvia, a British/American hydrogen-electric aircraft powertrain maker, has signed an agreement to develop green commercial routes from Skellefteå Airport in Västerbotten.
The agreement also involves local energy firm Skellefteå Kraft and large flight operator Braathens Regional Airlines. The partners will assess the possibility of operating several regional commercial routes using ZeroAvia’s ZA600 and ZA2000 powertrains.
Expected to launch in 2023, the ZA600 powertrain is designed to power 9–19 seat aircraft. Meanwhile, the ZA2000 will power 40–80 seat aircraft — such as ATR and Dash 8 — and will likely begin its service in 2027.
ZeroAvia chief customer officer James Peck said Sweden was “one of the most ambitious countries in the world” in achieving net zero in aviation. The country targets fossil-free domestic flights 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,” Peck said.
“Bold projects such as the one planned for Skellefteå are crucial in this endeavour.”
Braathens Regional Airlines will provide aircraft for the project demonstration and explore potential commercial routes. The airline currently operates 14 ATR-72 aircraft on various routes in Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
“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.”
Ulrika Matsgård, CEO of Braathens Regional Airlines
Its CEO, Ulrika Matsgård, said the airline aims to reach net zero for its international flights by 2045, with hydrogen-powered aircraft being a pivotal solution for international flights in Europe.
Skellefteå Kraft contributes its expertise to the project by analysing the potential for hydrogen production to supply the operation of hydrogen-electric aircraft. Hydrogen-electric power can lower operating costs and emissions for airlines. It will also reduce air and noise pollution in areas surrounding airports.
Meanwhile, Skellefteå Airport will examine the infrastructure needed to operate hydrogen-powered flights. It will also explore opportunities for further decarbonisation using green hydrogen.
Skellefteå Airport CEO Robert Lindberg said there had been an increased travel demand around Skellefteå and other northern parts of the Nordics. The project is expected to increase regional connectivity and productivity, boosting economic growth in various parts of Sweden.
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