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Image: easyJet / Wright Electric

Electric planes to fly London-Amsterdam

easyJet has laid out its vision for short-haul electric aircraft to fly one of Europe’s busiest routes.

Low-cost carrier easyJet has released more details about its ambitions to use electric aircraft on short-haul routes, which could see the planes enter commercial use within a decade, TTG reports.

It has been working with the Los Angeles-based startup Wright Electric on a first generation of all electric aircraft, with an electric engine that could potentially power a nine-seater prototype.

The aim is to create a battery-powered aircraft with a range of up to two hours’ flying time, or around 500 kilometres, by 2027.

What easyJet has in mind is a network of short-haul “flyways” operated by electric aircraft, such as its busy London-Amsterdam route, which is Europe’s second busiest route.

Electric flights are “becoming a reality”, easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said this morning, adding that it is now easier than ever to foresee a future “not exclusively dependent on jet fuel”.

“Looking forward, the technological advancements in electric flying are truly exciting and it is moving fast,” he said.

“Electric flying is becoming a reality and we can now foresee a future that is not exclusively dependent on jet fuel.

“We think the Netherlands has an opportunity to lead the way if the government and airports encourage airlines to operate in the most sustainable way now and in the future and incentivise them.”

Low emission, low noise
easyJet operates more than 20 flights a day between London and Amsterdam and has carried more than 22 million passengers since its first flight in 1996. The route currently has a load factor of 93%.

Electric aircraft would significantly cut noise and carbon emissions. Wright Electric believes its planes will be up to 50% quieter and 10% cheaper for airlines to buy and operate.

“We are excited about what the next year holds,” said chief executive Jeffrey Engler. “easyJet has been a fantastic partner and we look forward to helping introduce low-emission, low-noise aviation, to Europe.”

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