World’s First Electric Airline Is Betting on Hydrogen-Electric Propulsion

Ecojet will retrofit its entire fleet with the ZA600 powertrain 7 photos
Photo: ZeroAvia
Existing Aircraft Can Be Retrofitted With the ZA600Existing Aircraft Can Be Retrofitted With the ZA600Existing Aircraft Can Be Retrofitted With the ZA600Existing Aircraft Can Be Retrofitted With the ZA600Existing Aircraft Can Be Retrofitted With the ZA600Existing Aircraft Can Be Retrofitted With the ZA600
Two aviation innovators have joined hands to offer what might be the first zero-emission commercial flights in the world. One of them is Ecojet, the UK's first green airline, and the other one is ZeroAvia, developer of the groundbreaking ZA600 hydrogen-electric powertrain.
Earlier this year, an analysis performed by ZeroAvia showed that domestic flights across the UK could have a lower lifecycle carbon footprint per passenger than any other mode of transport, including cars and rail. The only condition? They would have to be powered by green or sustainable hydrogen produced by harnessing wind power.

ZeroAvia has done its part. It has successfully developed and tested a powerful hydrogen-electric propulsion system that allows aircraft to operate with zero emissions without sacrificing performance. Now, it's time for industry operators to implement this technology and revamp their fleet. By retrofitting existing airplanes with the ZA600, commercial operators can not only ensure green flights but also support circular economy.

Ecojet wants to go further than anybody else. Founded by entrepreneur Dale Vince and officially announced only a few months ago, in June, this new airline has big goals. It wants to become not only the UK's green flagship carrier but also the first all-electric airline in the world. At first, Ecojet will operate conventionally-powered flights to and from Edinburgh, starting next year.

Then, as soon as the ZA600 is officially certified (which is expected to happen in 2025), the new operator will retrofit its entire fleet with the hydrogen-electric powertrains. This will be the beginning of Ecojet's fully green operations.

For this purpose, the airline has already committed to purchasing 70 ZA600 units from ZeroAvia through Monte. Monte is the lessor that has recently acquired 100 ZA600 powertrains from the manufacturer, and Ecojet is the first official customer.

Vince is so confident in the potential of this revolutionary hydrogen-electric technology that he has also placed an order for ZeroAvia's ZA2000 powertrain. The ZA2000 is the Holy Grail of green aviation. It was specifically designed to be compatible with large, 80-seat commercial airplanes and will be ready to enter service as soon as 2027. Iconic models such as the ATR72 or the Dash 8 400 will be able to switch to emission-free operations thanks to the ZA2000.

ZeroAvia has headquarters in both the UK and the US. It has completed ten test flights for the ZA600 engine at its UK base, using a Dornier 228. Next, it will focus on testing the almighty ZA2000 with the help of a 76-seat Dash 8 400 provided by Alaska Airlines.

The revolutionary ZA600 will even power retrofitted Twin Otter seaplanes, set to be operated in Spain by Surcar Airlines. This new technology has tremendous potential, and, most importantly, it's available right now.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
Press Release
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.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories