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By April 24, 2021News

The consortium formed by Volotea, Air Nostrum and Dante Aeronautical presented to the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma) a fleet electrification project, in the context of the Sustainable and Digital Transport Support Program of the Recovery, Transformation Plan and Resilience. The initiative aims at the conversion and electrification of fleets of short and medium-range aircraft, in order to obtain a more sustainable regional air transport in Spain, contributing to territorial cohesion through the improvement of communications of the peripheral areas in particular, of the islands.

The project proposes the conversion and electrification of fleets of aircraft in service in order to make them 100% electric. The scope encompasses the design, engineering and implementation of modifications necessary for the adaptation of conventional small-capacity aircraft (between 9 and 19 passengers) and investment in the development of alternative energy propulsion technologies, which have the goal of minimizing in-flight emissions. This alternative involves a much faster procedure, avoiding the time-consuming and costly building of a plane from scratch.

The certification of the first aircraft is scheduled for 2024. This will be followed by a period of industrialization and commissioning that will culminate with versions of various aircraft fully operational in 2026.

La leadership tecnica del progetto spetta a Dante Aeronautical, un’azienda tecnologica del settore dell’aviazione con sede in Spagna e Australia, che integra discipline di produzione avanzata di materiali con aerodinamica e impianti elettrici. 

Volotea and Air Nostrum, for their part, will participate in the project by providing information on the market and, in particular, by making the work of their respective technical areas available. Both airlines want to be a pioneer in adopting this technology for domestic routes.

The consortium of companies presented a proposal with a total budget of 42 million euros, in response to the call for expression of interest by the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma) in the context of the Support Program for the Sustainable and Digital Transport of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan. The consortium’s intention is to co-finance the project through this private public initiative.

The purpose of these projects makes it possible to have an impact throughout the value chain of a sector that is highly relevant to the Spanish economy. The economic potential represents a significant opportunity for the entire Spanish entrepreneurial and innovative fabric, not only for the aviation sector, but also for that of technology, start-ups and mobility, with a considerable driving effect in job creation. of high value. The development of this project would allow Spanish companies to assume a world leadership in the development of practical sustainable aviation solutions and to become a strategic and environmental point of reference in the aeronautical sector.

“We began our collaboration with Dante Aeronautical a couple of years ago, in 2019. The development of a hybrid electric aircraft will reduce carbon emissions, as well as further limit noise pollution. For us at Volotea, being part of this project has great significance, as it perfectly reflects our mission to connect cities that need a better offer and, at the same time, allows us to do so while minimizing the environmental impact. We support this project by providing Dante with market analysis and technical data. Furthermore, we have made available our engineers and our sales team to jointly develop this innovative market opportunity, ”said Carlos Muñoz, founder and CEO of Volotea.