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October 28, 2021

Schiphol and ZeroAvia plan commercial hydrogen-electric flights by 2024

The partnership aims to fly a 19-seater aircraft between Rotterdam The Hague Airport and London in 2024.

ZeroAvia, Royal Schiphol Group, Rotterdam The Hague Innovation Airport Foundation and Rotterdam the Hague Airport (RTHA) have struck an alliance to operate the first zero-emission commercial passenger flights between the UK and the Netherlands.

The aim is to fly a 19-seater aircraft between Rotterdam The Hague Airport and London in 2024.

This aeroplane, which is being developed by ZeroAvia, will operate completely on hydrogen.

Currently, ZeroAvia and Royal Schiphol Group are in advanced discussions with airlines to select an operator for the proposed route.

As part of the alliance, ZeroAvia and Royal Schiphol Group will jointly test and demonstrate hydrogen supply chain refuelling operations, along with the integration with airport operations.

They will also explore the pathway for facilitating the commercial adoption of hydrogen-electric aviation.

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For this, the companies will work on developing the relevant regulatory framework and studying the industry and public appetite for hydrogen-based zero-emission flight.

ZeroAvia is conducting research and working on the development of a hydrogen-electric powertrain that will utilise hydrogen fuel cells to power electric motors.

The company is working towards ensuring that through its hydrogen-electric system, the only emission is water vapour at controllable temperatures.

Additionally, hydrogen-electric propulsion is said to result in reduced operating expenses.

RTHA CEO Ron Louwerse said: “Boarding a zero-emission flight from Rotterdam to London is only the beginning of green aviation, and that will only be made possible by pioneering and promoting innovation in the sector. With the Netherlands as the testing ground for aviation, we strengthen our competitive position, knowledge base and business climate.”

Last month, Tulips, a consortium led by Royal Schiphol Group, obtained funding of $29.5m from the European Commission to support a transition to low-carbon mobility and improve sustainability at airports.

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