VALENCIAN airline Air Nostrum is in line to receive €42 million of European Union COVID recovery funds to convert its fleet to electric.
With car companies gradually making the switch from petrol and diesel to electric, planes would be the next logical step, as they are responsible for a huge percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Air Nostrum, part of the Iberia Regional fleet, announced this week that it has teamed up with fellow Spanish airline Volotea – based in Asturias, northern Spain – and new start-up Dante Aeronautical to electrify their short and medium-range planes.
The goal is to reach zero emissions by 2026, with the first functional electric plane scheduled to enter service as early as 2024.
Their application for the Next Generation funds covers the whole process, from the design, engineering and technological innovations needed to adapt nine to 19-seater planes.
If successful, the consortium hopes to eventually extend the technology to larger models.
Dante, based in Spain and Australia, will take charge of the technical side of the project, while the Valencian and Asturian firms will supply their market knowledge and workforce.
Spokespeople for the group highlight the potential benefits of the project for the country’s economy and employment, as well as working towards the EU’s goal of zero emissions by 2050.