New Zealand could be the first country to offer emission-free regional flights. Sounds Air currently flies approximately 110,000 people around New Zealand every year. The company has signed a letter of intent with Sweden’s Heart Aerospace to make its operations fully electric. “Our ambition is to roll out zero-emission services from 2026 onwards,” says director Rhyan Wardman.
“It’s an exciting time for aviation in particular, if you look at how we’ve adopted electric vehicles as a country, and the work that’s going on with hydrogen propulsion systems for long-haul, electric flight is what’s next.” He has also indicated that the electric planes would not cost much more than conventional models, which have a range of 400 nautical miles, and take no more than 40 minutes to recharge.
“If you look at the running costs that electric flights offer, we would expect it to be economically sound in proposition [and] environmentally sustainable…too.”