OREANDA-NEWS. The executive director of Finnair, one of the largest Scandinavian airlines, Topi Manner said in an interview with RBC that in March 2021 the company signed an agreement with the Swedish startup Heart Aerospace. Through their collaboration, Finnair will acquire up to 20 all-electric ES-19 aircraft for flights up to 400 kilometers.

Heart Aerospace is currently developing a project for electric aircraft and plans to launch them into production by 2026. A more environmentally friendly form of air transport will be able to accommodate 19 passengers. Finnair aims to achieve zero emissions by 2045 with new technologies.

Manner cited the pandemic as the main reason for the acceleration of the transition to electric aircraft. He compared electric aviation to the booming electric vehicle industry. “At the end of this decade, we will see electric airplanes carry passengers over short distances with flight durations of an hour or an hour and a half,” Manner said, adding that over longer distances, aircraft will fly first on biofuel and then on hydrogen. Finnair has already operated one-off individual flights on biofuel since 2011, although this fuel remains very expensive, according to Manner.

The Brazilian low-cost airline Azul, which intends to purchase 220 electric aircraft worth a billion dollars, has also decided to switch to the new mode of transport. The first aircraft will enter the Azul fleet in 2025. Express delivery service DHL is also planning to start using electric planes for the transportation of goods across the United States from 2024.