An Island Community Chose This 30-Seat Electric Aircraft for Future Regional Flights

The ES-30 is gearing up for regional green flights in Aland in the future 7 photos
Photo: Heart Aerospace
ES-30 Electric AircraftES-30 Electric AircraftES-30 Electric AircraftES-30 Electric AircraftES-30 Electric AircraftES-30 Electric Aircraft
There aren’t many battery-electric aircraft ready for commercial service, that aren’t eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing). This is why the ES-30 is worth remembering, and why it got the attention of some major airlines, as well as regional air operators.
Last year, United Airlines confirmed plans to add 200 all-electric aircraft to its fleet. The chosen model was the ES-19, developed by a Swedish startup called Heart Aerospace. As its name suggests, this is a 19-seater, fitted with a 400 kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack.

The major selling point for this e-motor apparently was its affordability. Heart claimed that the ES-19 was 20 times less expensive than a conventional turboprop of the same size.

But the ES-19 is just a stepping stone towards a larger airplane for regional operations. This is the ES-30. The huge capacity (for an all-electric aircraft) means a drastic cut range-wise.

If the ES-19 can handle 250-mile (400 km) trips, its big brother can only cover about 124 miles (200 km) without any extra help. In the future, a version that’s equipped with hybrid-electric propulsion, and with the passenger seat number dropping down to 25, could conduct flights of nearly 500 miles (800 km) on a regular basis.

The ES-30 could soon be ushering in a new era of green flights for an island community. Zero-emission alternatives to conventional airliners are even more important in areas like this, where protecting the natural environment is a priority. Aland sits in the Baltic Sea, where it connects to both Sweden and Finland (it’s officially an autonomous part of Finland, where people speak Swedish).

Aland currently has three flight connections from its capital city Mariehamn to Stockholm (Sweden) and to Helsinki and Turku (Finland). All of these cities are between 150 and 300 km (93 and 186.4 miles) away from the island, which means that they’re perfectly suitable for all-electric flights. Plus, the local population isn’t very big (30,000 people), which makes Aland compatible with smaller, regional aircraft.

There’s no official launch date so far, for the upcoming battery-powered flights. At the moment, the Swedish manufacturer and the authorities in Aland are trying to establish a framework for future operations. There’s still a long way to go. The Swedish 30-seater isn’t expected to be certified and ready for service earlier than 2028. The ES-19, on the other hand, will get here a little sooner – three years from now.

Heart’s battery-electric aircraft were also selected by Air New Zealand, as part of its large-scale plan for green flights, which will explore a diverse range of options (retrofitted existing planes, hydrogen-powered aircraft, and battery-electric models). Heart was the only manufacturer of 100% electric airliners selected for the project, and that says a lot about its potential.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
Otilia Drăgan profile photo

Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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