MIAMI – Spanish carriers Volotea and Air Nostrum have teamed up with DANTE Aeronautical to create an all-electric regional aircraft.
The consortium has asked for €42m of European Union COVID recovery funds from the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA). This will cover the design, engineering, and technical processes to create 100% electric flight, creating ‘a more sustainable regional air transport in Spain.
Rather than a clean-sheet airplane, this technology will be used to adapt conventional small-capacity aircraft with nine to 19 seats. Certification is mooted for 2024 and the consortium plan to have several fully operational aircraft by 2026.
DANTE Aeronautical, based in Spain and Australia and will oversee the technical side. Meanwhile Volotea and Air Nostrum will supply market knowledge and a workforce.
Both carriers plan on becoming pioneers in the application of this technology on regional flights, thereby reducing emissions to zero.
The project will allow Spain to become a world leader in sustainable aviation whilst stimulating the economy, following the impact of COVID-19, through the creation of high-value jobs.
The Dream Team
Indeed, Volotea began working with DANTE back in 2019 with plans to create a state-of-the-art hybrid-electric small aircraft within the next decade.
Speaking at the time, Carlos Muñoz, Volotea CEO and Founder said, “As part of our proactive environmental policy, Volotea will actively collaborate with DANTE Aeronautical in the development of this hybrid-electric aircraft, in order to support the reduction of carbon emissions and noise from aircraft operations.”
Muñoz added, “Volotea will provide DANTE with market analysis and technical data. Volotea engineers and commercial specialists have been appointed and made available to validate this market opportunity and provide technical support as well”.
The addition of Iberia franchise carrier Air Nostrum will provide the consortium with additional technical experience as the carriers CEO Carols Beromeu explained, “Air Nostrum is accustomed to getting involved in consortia at the continental level that work at the forefront of technology.”
“Our technical area has been selected twice by the European Space Agency (ESA) for projects related to climate change and satellite-led aircraft. In fact, the first landing of a commercial plane guided only by signals emitted from space in the history of Europe was starred by an Air Nostrum plane at Valencia airport,” added Beromeu.
Meanwhile Miguel Madinabeitia, co-founder of DANTE Aeronautical continued, “This consortium signed with Volotea and Air Nostrum in European regional aviation…is a step forward in its vision of 100% electric aviation, which revolutionizes the concepts and evolves towards a more sustainable and clean aviation.”
Featured image: DANTE Aeronautical