Air Canada and electric aircraft company Hear Aerospace announced an order for 30 of Heart’s newly unveiled 30-seater hybrid electric aircraft, with an all-electric, zero-emission range of 200 km.

Alongside the aircraft order, Heart Aerospace also announced that Air Canada and Swedish aerospace and defense company have each acquired a $5 million equity stake in Heart Aerospace.

According to Air Canada President and CEO Michael Rousseau, the announcements mark a “step forward to our goal of net zero emissions by 2050.” Air Canada unveiled its net zero goal last year, with plans to pursue initiatives including deploying a modernized, energy efficient fleet, innovative solution such as electric, hydrogen or hybrid operational technologies, sustainable aviation fuels and clean energy. The company also committed to invest $50 million in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), and carbon reductions and removals.

Air Canada stated that the new aircraft, expected to enter service in 2028, will enable the airline to serve regional and commuter routes more sustainably.

Rousseau added:

“Already, Air Canada is supporting the development of new technologies, such as sustainable aviation fuels and carbon capture, to address climate change. 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 and Saab’s investment follows a $35 million funding round by Heart Aerospace last year, led by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, United Airlines Ventures and Mesa Air Group, with United and Mesa also ordering 200 aircraft.

United and Mesa’s initial order was for Heart Aerospace’s 19-seater model, the ES-19, which the company is now replacing with the larger ES-30. Heart Aerospace said that the United and Mesa order has been reconfirmed for the updated ES-30 design.

Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, said:

“Heart’s exciting new design – which includes expanded passenger capacity from 19 to 30 seats, and a state-of-the-art reserve-hybrid engine – is the type of revolutionary thinking that will bring true innovation to aviation.”

The ES-30 will be driven by electric motors powered by batteries, and will also include a reserve-hybrid configuration, consisting of two turbo generators powered by sustainable aviation fuel, giving the aircraft a fully electric range of 200 km, an extended range of 400 km with 30 passengers, and capability to reach up to 800 km with 25 passengers.

Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace, said:

“The ES-30 is an electric airplane that the industry can actually use. We have designed a cost efficient airplane that allows airlines to deliver good service on a wide range of routes. With the ES-30 we can start cutting emissions from air travel well before the end of this decade and the response from the market has been fantastic.”

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