With its 84,100 employees, its fleet of more than 800 planes, and a large number of destinations served, United Airlines is the largest airline in the world. Also, the company’s recent announcements and its investment in electricity have not gone unnoticed.
Electric flights, a solution for short journeys?
Last Thursday, during the ESG Impact virtual conference organized by the American channel CNBC, the CEO of United Airlines explained his plan to launch a new fleet of electric planes for regional and short-haul flights.
He explained thus: Initially, we want to fly routes of 200 miles or less. But as the energy density increases, that same aircraft will have a range of 250 miles, 300 miles (482 km Editor’s note), which will give us much more utility here by connecting our hubs. »
And to give itself the means for its new ambition, United Airlines has decided to call on Heart Aerospace, a Swedish company at the forefront of battery-electric aircraft. However, the 100 models ordered will not be delivered before 2028, and they will be able to accommodate up to 19 passengers.
Present at this event, the founder and current CEO of Heart Aerospace, Anders Forslund, also wanted to be reassuring about the durability of his plane, and he said that it could be recharged in less than half an hour.
Hybrid planes to increase autonomy?
It must be said that for many years now, the aeronautical industry has been trying to find solutions to meet the challenges posed by climate change. The idea is also to reduce fuel costs, which are becoming significant. However, they come up against the problem of autonomy, and we know that the batteries are still insufficient for flights over long distances.
The solution could therefore go through hybrid models. And it is precisely this type of aircraft that Heart Aerospace is developing. Recently Air Canada ordered 30 of them. They can carry up to 30 passengers.
Last September, Anders Forslund, explained on this subject: ” With the ES-30 we can start reducing air transport emissions well before the end of this decade and the market response has been fantastic. “.
For his part, Michael Rousseau, President of Air Canada, was full of praise for this agreement: ” Adding Heart Aerospace’s Electric Regional ES-30 Aircraft to Our Fleet is a Step Forward in Reaching Our Goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050 “.