BUSINESS – Easyjet announced a major step forward today in the production of commercial electric aircraft. The airline has moved to the next stage of development on a nine-seat electric plane.
Easyjet expects to be fully operational by 2019. It has also filed a patent for a motor that will be used in a larger aircraft.
The airline said in a statement, “This exciting development suggests that the transition towards an all-electric commercial passenger jet capable of flying passengers across Easyjet’s UK and European network is in sight.”
Easyjet is now looking at prospective locations where it could establish ‘electric flyways’ on key short haul routes. London – Amsterdam, Europe’s second busiest route is seen as a key contender.
Easyjet CEO Johan Lundgren said the target range of the planes is around 500 kilometres, which could reduce noise and emissions from many short-haul flights, and said he could foresee a future that is not exclusively dependent on jet fuel.
He said, “Looking forward, the technological advancements in electric flying are truly exciting and it is moving fast. From the two-seater aircraft, which is already flying, to the nine-seater which will fly next year, electric flying is becoming a reality and we can now foresee a future that is not exclusively dependent on jet fuel.
“The target range of the electric plane is around 500 kilometres which, within our current route portfolio, would mean a route like Amsterdam to London could become the first electric ‘flyway’. And as it is currently Europe’s second busiest route, this could in turn offer significant reductions in noise and carbon emissions, with multiple take offs and landings every day.”
Easyjet CEO added: “We think the Netherlands has an opportunity to lead the way if the Government and airports encourage airlines to operate in the most sustainable way now and in the future and incentivise them through a different and lower charging structure.”
This is not happening at Easyjet alone. The airport said that there were over 100 electric aircraft projects underway across the world. It is expected that we would see many of such at major international airports by 2030.