On Wednesday, Scandinavian regional carrier Widerøe and Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer announced a new partnership that will bring the latter’s new eVTOL vehicles to Norway within the next few years. While initially designed for urban mobility, the two partners hope the aircraft can also be utilized for zero-emissions regional connectivity.
Accelerating sustainable aviation in Norway
For all its dependency on the oil industry, Norway is taking a leading role when it comes to zero-emission aviation. Its regional networks, a necessity due to the challenging geography, are particularly well suited to benefit from the initial sizes and ranges planned for emerging electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft.
To that effect, Scandinavia’s largest regional carrier and its newly established dedicated sustainability branch, Widerøe Zero, has partnered with Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer’s air taxi department, Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions. The partnership was announced during Transportation Day at COP26 in Glasgow, and its fruition into service is planned for 2026. It creates the Air Mobility Business Incubator, which will focus on developing Eve’s eVTOL for the Norwegian market.
“Although initially designed for Urban Air Mobility, we expect these highly flexible vehicles to be interesting in a variety of applications also in rural areas; from cargo to passenger transportation. Our partnership with Eve is part of our plan to accelerate the development of sustainable aviation in Norway. We are looking forward to the expanded partnership, unlocking new opportunities to improve regional connectivity,” said Andreas Kollbye Aks, Chief Executive Officer at Widerøe Zero.
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New and optimized mobility ecosystem
The two companies have been collaborating since 2017 when Widerøe signed an order for up to 15 of Embraer’s E190-E2 jets. While Widerøe was the launch customer for the E2 jets in Scandinavia in 2018, the carrier only has three of the type today. Meanwhile, the airline will now help Embraer in performing market readiness exercises and vehicle concept studies for Scandinavia.
“With Urban Air Mobility, we have a unique opportunity to design a new and optimized mobility ecosystem: infrastructure, vehicle, operations and air traffic management systems. We are thrilled to work together with Widerøe Zero to develop UAM solutions in Scandinavia, with an entirely new, zero-emission experience to travelers,” André Stein, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eve, said in a statement.
Simulations underway in Rio
Embraer Eve has already commenced an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) simulation in Rio de Janeiro. Beginning last week, the initiative used a helicopter to connect Barra da Tijuca to the Tom Jobim International Airport. The pilot is set to last for a month, with six daily flights. Tickets that are cheaper than a regular helicopter ride, simulating a price point close to what is expected for eVTOL rides in the future. Meanwhile, parent company Embraer just launched a set of four new sustainable aircraft concepts.
Would you like to glide over the fjords in one of Eve’s silent eVTOL vehicles? Leave a comment below if you are as excited about the future of regional aviation as we are.