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Air Canada Orders 30 Electric Planes Expected To Launch On Short Regional Routes

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The flag carrier Air Canada has been recently expanding. And not only with new routes or relaunching flights—like they recently did by reconnecting Toronto to the Mexican Caribbean destination Cozumel—, this time, the airline is investing in new modern electric planes. 

Air Canada logo on airplane tail

Air Canada recently announced a purchase of 30 ES-30 electric-hybrid aircraft developed by the Swedish start-up Heart Aerospace. The innovative electric planes will start serving passengers in 2028 on regional routes. The carrier hasn’t specified which destinations they will serve with the new planes but shared valuable information about how the new aircraft works and its environmental benefits.

Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada, said: “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.”

Rousseau also highlighted the company’s support for new technologies addressing climate change—and mentioned sustainable aviation fuels and carbon capture— and added: “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.”

Air Canada airplane flying over mountains

Air Canada has shared great insight on how the future short-haul experience will be for travelers and the company’s projection. They also invested a US$5 million equity stake in Heart Aerospace, demonstrating their trust in the Swedish company. 

Heart Arospace's Electric Planes

The Heart Aerospace’s model bought by Air Canada, the ES-30, will have the capacity for up to 30 passengers and will serve short routes. The aircraft will yield operational savings for the company as well as other benefits.

Air Canada airplane about to land during sunset

Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace, explained more about the alliance: “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.”

Forslund also shared a few words about their expectations in the near future:  “With the ES-30 we can start cutting emissions from air travel well before the end of this decade.”

Young Male Traveler Arriving To Toronto Pearson International Airport With An Air Canda Sign Blurred In The Background, Toronto, Canada

These are the main characteristics of the ES-30 electric planes according to the information shared by Air Canada and Heart Aerospace’s website:

  • It can carry 30 passengers in a 2×1 configuration.
  • Features a gallery and a lavatory.
  • Includes cabin stowage, overhead bins, and an external baggage and cargo compartment.
  • Powered by lithium-ion batteries (main energy source).
  • Charging time is expected to be from 30 to 50 minutes.
  • Equipped with reserve-hybrid generators that can use sustainable aviation fuel.
  • Will generate zero emissions flying on battery power.
  • Can travel all-electric up to 124 miles (200 kilometers) and 248 miles (400 kilometers) in hybrid mode.
  • Each airplane has 4 electric motors.
  • Its maximum altitude is 20,000 ft.
  • These models are quieter than traditional planes during takeoff and landing.
  • Offer better operational parameters.
Interior View Of Air Canada Aircraft With Passengers On Seats

The ES-30 is Heart Aerospace’s newest airplane designed and replaces the previous model, the ES-19. This new cost-efficient model is ideal for short routes.

With the purchase of the 30 hybrid-electric planes, Air Canada became the first commercial airline in Canada to consider this transportation. In the United States, United Airlines and Mesa Air Group already ordered over 100 smaller electric-powered planes each, in 2021, the  ES-19—with capacity for 19 seats—, also to Hear Aerospace. Both companies expect to start serving regional routes with the new electric aircraft by 2026.

United Airlines Aircraft Parked At An Airport Runway

United Airlines also recently invested in electric flying taxis with Brazilian aircraft company Eve Air Mobility and made a conditional purchase of 200 four-seat electric aircraft. The future of air travel is electric and the commitment to zero carbon emissions by 2050 looks possible with airlines and startups working together to develop new technologies and innovative aircraft. 

Airplane flying into the sunset

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Matthew E

Friday 16th of September 2022

Lithium is found in the brine of salt flats. It's mined by drilling into the flat, pumping the brine to the surface, then allowing that brine to evaporate. This evaporation leaves the lithium, which must then be processed though the use of toxic chemicals. This practice can deplete local water supplies, as well as pollute those supplies via leaching and spills. Soils in mining areas are harmed and the air in these areas can be contaminated by way of evaporation.

Chile's Atacama salt flats are just one example of all of this, and a study of their use for lithium production reveals a number of harmful impacts, environmentally and societally. Don't believe me; look it up yourself. Knowledge is power.

While you're on the internet reading all about this, look up the reason Samsung Note 7 cell phones were banned from being carried on commercial aircraft for a time. Spoiler alert: their lithium-ion batteries were a fire hazard.

Then, perhaps, take some time to read up on why the Boeing 787 fleet was grounded in 2013 after a series of incidents related to their lithium-ion batteries. The 787 was only allowed to fly again after upgrades were made to their fire-suppression systems.

All of this for a craft that can carry thirty people from Phoenix to Tucson--barely--before recharging or hitting the "sustainable aviation fuel" reserves. Phoenix to Albuquerque? Sorry. Can't make it, even in hybrid mode. At 333 miles that's just too far.

I'll reserve comment on what "sustainable aviation fuel" looks like. I just don't have it in me...

Vinny the Adventurer

Friday 16th of September 2022

Less than 250 miles? Hahaha

I’ll just drive myself