British businessman Dale Vince, who has been involved in clean energy for many years and owns the company Ecotricity, which builds and maintains wind farms and solar parks, is launching an environmentally friendly electric airline, Ecojet, writes The Guardian.
But there is one important nuance. For the first years, the “electric” airline will fly with ordinary kerosene-fueled planes. This is necessary in order to reserve slots at airports while conventional planes are converted to electric ones.
Judging by the photo provided by Ecojet, the company will operate de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 400 aircraft (manufactured since 2008). This 19-seater twin-engine turboprop short takeoff and landing utility aircraft is from the Canadian company de Havilland Canada/Viking Air. It has a flight range of up to 700 km (1,480 km rolling range) and is used to connect small rural airports with the regional hub.
Dornier 228 aircraft of almost the same class have already been converted into fully electric ones running on hydrogen fuel cells, for example, by ZeroAvia. Ecojet is also going to use fuel cells.
The first phase of the Ecojet launch, which will start in early 2024, is to cover all major cities in Great Britain, initially with conventional aircraft, gradually replacing them with electric versions. Within the next 18 months, it is planned to present a 90-seater electric plane that will be able to fly to the continental part of Europe.
Interestingly, an airline called Ecojet already exists… in Bolivia.