Air Greenland’s CEO, Jacob Nitter, has revealed that the airline would be interested in the second or third generation of electric aircraft. The airline is part of the Nordic Network for Electric Aviation, which is working with Heart Aerospace to produce a 19-seater fully electric aircraft with a range of 250 miles.
Electric aviation is like marmite within the aviation industry. That is to say, it’s an incredibly divisive topic. Some, such as Airbus, think that fully electric will never scale to an Airbus A320-sized jet. Others like United are placing orders for potential aircraft left, right, and center.
What does Air Greenland think?
Earlier today, while speaking at the CAPA Live industry event, Air Greenland’s CEO, Jacob Nitter, was asked whether an electric aircraft, such as the Heart Aerospace ES-19, has a place in Greenland given the operating environment. Nitter responded, saying,
“I don’t think that in the short term that the electric aircraft will be a viable solution here … I am not sure that the current development aircraft will be the solution for Greenland in the future, but maybe the second or third generation will.”
However, Nitter doesn’t seem to think that it will take an incredibly long time to reach this point. He commented that the higher you aim, the faster you will pass through targets. One of the main issues for Air Greenland is that any electric plane would be targeted at replacing its fleet of Dash 8 aircraft.
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As mentioned above, the ES-19 is intended to seat 19 passengers over a range of 250 miles (402 km). According to Air Greenland, its Dash-8-200 aircraft can carry 37 passengers over a maximum range of 1,713 km (1,064 miles). You don’t need to be great at maths to see that the numbers don’t quite match up.
Nitter is aware of the importance of sustainability given his location. Greenland is pretty covered in ice, meaning that he can “physically see how the glaciers are melting” and “the changes almost from year to year.” Part of the airline’s mission to become more sustainable will see it taking delivery of an Airbus A330-800 aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2022. This aircraft will replace its A330ceo, which Nitter says burns a lot more fuel. Additional seating capacity will mean that emissions per passenger will also fall.
United Airlines’ big order
It seems as though United Airlines is happy with the first generation of Heart Aerospace’s electric aircraft. Yesterday the airline revealed that it had agreed to purchase 200 of the ES-19. 100 aircraft would go to itself, with another 100 would go to the regional United Express partner, Mesa Airlines.
Do you think electric aircraft are the way forward for Air Greenland? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!