Air Canada has announced a purchase agreement for 30 ES-30s, the electric-hybrid regional aircraft being developed by Heart Aerospace in Sweden. The aircraft, which Heart is working to enter into service in 2028, will generate zero emissions flying on battery power, with a range of 400km. Under the agreement, Air Canada has also acquired a $5 million equity stake in Heart Aerospace. Air Canda joins other airlines that have expressed interest or placed orders for the aircraft, including Finnair, United Airlines, Sounds Air and BRA.
The ES-30 would enable Air Canada to serve regional and commuter routes more sustainably, providing low-emission connectivity to local communities over the medium-to-long term. The airline plans for the aircraft to carry 30 passengers seated three across (in a 2-1 configuration), with a galley and lavatory.
“Air Canada is a strategically important partner for Heart Aerospace. The company has one of the world’s largest networks operated by regional turboprops, and it is also a progressive, future-leaning company, especially in the green transmission,” said Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace. “With the ES-30 we can start cutting emissions from air travel well before the end of this decade.”
The aircraft will be powered by lithium-ion batteries, and Heart says it will be quieter, have better operational parameters, be more reliable, and have a smaller environmental footprint than conventional turbo-prop aircraft. It will also be equipped with reserve-hybrid generators that can use sustainable aviation fuel. Fully loaded, the ES-30 is projected to have an all-electric, zero-emission range of 200km (124 miles). This can be extended to 400km (250 miles) when power is supplemented by the generators, and up to 800km (500 miles) if the load is restricted to 25 passengers. Charging time for the aircraft is expected to be 30-to-50 minutes.
“The introduction into our fleet of the ES-30 electric regional aircraft from Heart Aerospace will be a step forward to our goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” said Michael Rousseau, president and CEO of Air Canada. “Already, Air Canada is supporting the development of new technologies, such as sustainable aviation fuels and carbon capture, to address climate change. We are now reinforcing our commitment by investing in revolutionary electric aircraft technology, both as a customer for the ES-30 and as an equity partner in Heart Aerospace.”