Icelandair explores the possibility of electric and hydro powered flights. | Icelandair
Pingdom Check
15.07.2021 | 07:00

Exploring the possibility of electric and hydro powered flight

Updated: November 2, 2021  

Sustainable aviation discussed at Arctic Circle Assembly

In October, Reykjavík hosted the 2021 Arctic Circle Assembly, and Icelandair hosted a breakout session on Aviation and Sustainability. In the session, Jens Þórðarson, COO of Icelandair, Halla Hrund Logadóttir, Director General of the National Energy Authority in Iceland, and Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace, talked about future opportunities in reducing aviation’s carbon footprint.

Halla Hrund discussed the role and objectives of governments, Jens explained the goals and focus areas of the aviation industry and what airlines can do. Finally, Anders introduced the development of electric aircraft that he believes would suit domestic flights in Iceland very well, with good access to energy of renewable origin and short flight distances.

We at Icelandair are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, working towards the industry goal of achieving net zero emissions in 2050. Our measures include fleet renewal to more fuel-efficient aircraft, operational improvements, and exploration of possibilities to introduce sustainable aviation fuels. In addition, we participate in international research and development projects relating to new aviation technology. We have already signed a letter of intent with two companies, Heart Aerospace and Universal Hydrogen, to explore new options for our domestic operation – electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft. On this important journey, we all have to contribute – governments and businesses alike – to ensure a more sustainable future.

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We are proud to be among the first airlines to explore the possibilities of electric and hydro power. Icelandair has signed Letters of Intent on two exciting projects that aim to decarbonize flying, a goal that could revolutionize the carbon footprint of domestic flight in as little as a few years. The first is with Universal Hydrogen, a company that has designed a hydrogen conversion kit for regional aircraft such as our DASH-8 aircraft. The second project is with Heart Aerospace, which has the goal of electrifying regional air travel. 

We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and believe we are in a good position to become one of the world’s first airlines to fully decarbonize our domestic network. Heart Aerospace and Universal Hydrogen have introduced exciting solutions for regional aviation that are expected to be available in a few years. As technology advances, we hope to be able to use the experience from decarbonizing our domestic services to accelerate the implementation of carbon-neutral energy to power our international flights.

We have worked with Heart Aerospace for some time and will now start an in-depth analysis with Universal Hydrogen. At the same time, we will start discussions with other stakeholders, such as electricity and hydrogen producers, transport companies, and airport operators.

the rear of an electric-powered aircraft with a door open and two members of staff loading the vessel with energy capsules