Start-up Evia Aero describes its zero-emission goals.

With plans to begin operations in 2026, the German start-up airline Evia Aero feels it is entering the market with a fleet of zero-emission aircraft at the perfect time.

In addition to 10 adaptations of the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander with a new hydrogen fuel cell powerplant from Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, Evia has so far placed orders for 25 copies of Eviation’s Alice all-electric commuter aircraft.

According to CEO Florian Kruse, a former chief commercial officer at Bremen airport in Germany, the modified Islanders, which will start flying in 2026, would be used for short-range flights supplying island settlements and ferrying in employees to help the offshore wind generation industry.

He asserts that “we will be the first commercial regional airline that can run sustainable aircraft.”

He thinks the BN-2’s conventional function as an island-hopper is only made better by the switch to hydrogen power: For us, it’s a pretty interesting product.

By 2025, Cranfield Aerospace hopes to get a supplemental type certificate for the upgrade, and according to Kruse, the platform’s impending availability was another selling feature.

“I believe there is a race in sustainable aviation, but you need an airplane to compete; you need to work with a manufacturer you can rely on.”

Evia will deploy the all-electric nine-seater to create scheduled routes connecting secondary or tertiary airports in Europe with double- or triple-daily flights. Deliveries of the Alice are projected to begin later this decade; certification is not anticipated before 2027.

There have been some tentative agreements made with airports in Germany (Bremen, Friedrichshafen, Munster, and Weeze), Belgium (Antwerp), the Netherlands (Groningen), and Denmark (Esbjerg), but according to Kruse, the carrier is “talking to 22 European airports to bring the network to the right stage.” Kruse notes that despite the attention being on northern Europe

However, it’s important to note that Evia will not solely concentrate on airline operations. According to Kruse, the business will also create a group company to install and manage solar-powered charging stations and hydrogen electrolyzer facilities at airports.

It will also let the carrier to sell the energy or hydrogen produced to a larger market, helping to offset and control expenses in addition to enabling the carrier to charge or fuel its own aircraft.

As it works to finalize agreements with airport operators, Kruse said installation of the photovoltaic plants will start later this year or early next; these should be operational by 2024.

Kruse thinks the start-up can succeed despite its lofty goals because “we are here in the right place, at the right moment, with the right product.”

It will also be in good shape because it doesn’t have a legacy fleet that needs to be converted to zero-emission operations, according to him. We will succeed because we are beginning over from scratch, says Kruse.

He predicts that it will cost between €60 and €70 million ($60 to $70 million) to launch the carrier, with the majority of the money going into infrastructure and the airplanes being obtained through dry leasing.

He continues by saying that investors in the airline are from the renewable energy sector.

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