Icelandic flag carrier Icelandair signed a new memorandum of understanding with Heart Aerospace in connection with an electric aircraft that the company is working on. Icelandair will also be part of the advisory committee that the Swedish aircraft manufacturer has established. In addition to Icelandair, the advisory committee includes representatives from airlines, aircraft rentals and airports. The advisory committee is intended to ensure that the aircraft best suits the needs of the users. In this way, it is promoted that the energy exchange of air transport can start as soon as possible.
The aircraft that Heart Aerospace is currently working on is a 30-seat hybrid, the ES-30, which will be useful for domestic flights in Iceland. Icelandair and Heart Aerospace had previously signed a memorandum of understanding for a 19-seat electric aircraft, the ES-19, which will be replaced by the ES-30. The ES-30 is a 30-seat passenger plane equipped with quiet electric motors that can also run on sustainable jet fuel. On shorter routes, the plane could run solely on electricity, thus making carbon-free domestic flights a reality. On longer routes, the plane could run on a mix of electricity and sustainable jet fuel. The range of the plane will be around 200 km with 30 passengers on electricity alone, 400 km with a combination of electricity and sustainable jet fuel, and up to 800 km with 25 passengers. In this way, the aircraft could be used on all domestic flight routes and significantly reduce carbon emissions. Heart Aerospace expects the aircraft to enter service in 2028.
Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace: “Our goal is to electrify flights on shorter routes, but we are not doing it alone. It is the joint work of many parties to make aviation carbon-free. Through the partnership, we can influence the entire value chain, from producing more environmentally friendly aircraft to making airports more accessible for environmentally friendly machines. This is how we make flying more convenient, cheaper and more sustainable for the public.”
Heiða Njóla Guðbrandsdóttir, Icelandair’s deputy managing director of operations: “It is a real pleasure for us to expand the partnership with Heart Aerospace. We have set ambitious goals to reduce emissions in our operations, and one part of that is to promote the development of new technologies. Due to short flight routes and good access to environmentally friendly energy, Iceland is in a unique position to make domestic flights carbon-free. Heart Aerospace aims to have the first aircraft in service this decade. It is very satisfying for us at Icelandair to participate in the development and thus pave the way for energy exchange in flight.”
Heart Aerospace’s advisory board includes representatives from Aerus, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Braathens Regional Airlines, CDB Aviation, Cebu Pacific, Christchurch Airport, DAT, Icelandair, London City Airport, Mesa Air Group, Republic Airways, Rockton, SAS, Sevenair, Sounds Air, Swedavia, Toki Air, United Airlines, Vmo Aircraft Leasing and Wellington Airport.