Canada’s largest airline Air Canada has announced a purchase agreement for 30 ES-30 electric regional aircraft from Swedish manufacturer Heart Aerospace, as well as a US$5 million equity stake in the company. The aircraft are expected to enter service in 2028, and will be able to fly up to 800 km with zero carbon emissions.

Air Canada aircraft flies through blue skies.
© Steven He

Air Canada’s purchase agreement with Heart Aerospace

Canada’s largest airline and flag carrier Air Canada has signed a purchase agreement with Swedish manufacturer Heart Aerospace, placing an order for 30 of the start-up’s next-gen ES-30 electric regional aircraft, which are currently in development. The agreement also gives Air Canada a US$5 million equity share in the company.

Founded in 2019 and based in Gothenburg, Sweden, Heart Aerospace is a small manufacturer whose mission is to create “the world’s greenest, most affordable, and most accessible form of transport,” and to address the industry’s key sustainability challenges. The ES-30 is their second aircraft prototype, after the 19-seater ES-19, which is due in 2026.

“Air Canada is a strategically important partner for Heart Aerospace. The company has one of the world’s largest networks operated by regional turboprops, and it is also a progressive, future-leaning company, especially in the green transmission,” said Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace. “With the ES-30 we can start cutting emissions from air travel well before the end of this decade.”

Air Canada's purchase agreement with Heart Aerospace will see them acquire electric regional aircraft - here's how the electric propulsion works.
How does electric propulsion work? | © The Economist

About the ES-30

Expected to enter service in 2028, the ES-30 will be an electric-hybrid aircraft powered by lithium-ion batteries, along with reserve-hybrid generators powered by sustainable fuel. It is projected to have a fully-electric range of 200 km with zero emissions while fully loaded, which can be extended to 400 km with the help of the generators, and up to 800 km with a load of only 25 passengers. Its charge time is expected to be between 30 and 50 minutes.

The ES-30 will be able to carry up to 30 passengers and will be equipped with a galley and a lavatory. It is projected to be quieter, more reliable, and have better operational parameters and a smaller environmental footprint than conventional aircraft. It will allow Air Canada to serve regional routes more sustainably, and offer better connectivity to local communities.

“Air Canada has taken a leadership position in the industry to address climate change. The introduction into our fleet of the ES-30 electric regional aircraft from Heart Aerospace will be a step forward to our goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada. “Already, Air Canada is supporting the development of new technologies, such as sustainable aviation fuels and carbon capture, to address climate change. We are now reinforcing our commitment by investing in revolutionary electric aircraft technology, both as a customer for the ES-30 and as an equity partner in Heart Aerospace.”

In short, Air Canada has purchased 30 next-gen electric aircraft in order to reduce emissions. What do you think? Let us know down below!

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