EasyJet reveals electric aircraft concept

The new “flyways” will operate routes like London-Amsterdam by 2030

British low-budget carrier easyJet has decided to take sustainable flying another step forward.

The company has teamed up with a US-based startup Wright Electric and has now revealed an electric aircraft concept.

The new “flyways” could operate short-haul routes, such as LondonAmsterdam, as soon as 2030.

Wright Electric partner Axter Aerospace has already developed two-seat electric plane which has turned out to be a success. The manufacturer is building a nine-seat aircraft that should take off next year.

At the same time, specialist aviation designer Darold Cummings has started to work on an easyJet-sized aircraft with 50 seats.

Wright Electric CEO Jeffrey Engler said that, following the 50-seater, Wright would move onto testing 150- or 180-seaters.

“The technological advancements in electric flying are truly exciting and it is moving fast,” said easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren.

“From the two-seater aircraft, which is already flying, to the nine-seater which will fly next year, electric flying is becoming a reality and we can now foresee a future that is not exclusively dependent on jet fuel.”

The flyways should operate routes such as London-Amsterdam by 2030 — easyJet EasyJet electric aircraft concept
The “flyways” could operate routes such as London-Amsterdam by 2030 — easyJet

“We know it is important to our customers that we operate sustainably and with the introduction of A320neos, we can already provide a 15 per cent reduction in carbon emissions and 50 per cent less noise footprint, putting us amongst the best-ranking airlines in Europe,” he added.

The development of sustainable alternatives suggests that the transition towards an all-electric commercial passenger jet is in sight. Soon the aircraft should be capable of flying travellers across easyJet’s UK and European network.

LondonAmsterdam is Europe’s second busiest route with a strong demand for day return trips, which makes it potentially an ideal route for the “flyways”.

“The target range of the electric plane is around 500 kilometres which, within our current route portfolio, would mean a route like Amsterdam to London could become the first electric ‘flyway’,” Lundgren said.

Wright Electric CEO Jeffrey Engler added: “We are excited about what the next year holds. EasyJet has been a fantastic partner, and we look forward to helping introduce low-emissions low-noise aviation to Europe.”