Dale Vince is known for founding Ecotricity, as well as being the owner of vegan football club Forest Green Rovers
Through the airline, he will make net-zero, emission-free air travel possible for the first time, describing the move as marking ‘the beginning of an aviation revolution’.
Old planes will be repurposed to create Ecojet’s fleet, rather than building new models from scratch, thus saving 90,000 tonnes of carbon per year.
According to a statement, the only byproduct from this process will be water, which ‘can be captured and released into the lower atmosphere to avoid the harmful effects of contrails’.
The conventional planes will be retrofitted with hydrogen-electric powertrains. Once converted, the aircraft will ‘operate with the same power output as before, but with a 100 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions’.
Dale Vince assembles a team
Dale has brought together a carefully curated team to work on the project, including experienced pilot Brent Smith and a team of aviation specialists.
When flights commence in early 2024, the first route will be Edinburgh to Southampton, expanding to mainland Europe shortly after, with long-haul flights planned for the future.
To secure routes and a license from the Civil Aviation Authority, Ecojet will initially launch using conventionally fuelled planes – two different sizes of turboprop aircraft (a 19-seat aircraft and a 70-seat aircraft).
As they become approved for service by the CAA, they will be retrofitted with the hydrogen-electric powertrains, with the first retrofits taking place in 2025, one year after the commencement of flights.
Image © Ecotricity
‘A significant solution’
Then, once on board, ‘further radical steps will be taken to further reduce the impact of the aviation industry’.
These include ‘serving plant-based meals, eliminating single-use plastic and issuing staff environmentally-friendly uniforms’.
According to Dale Vince: “The question of how to create sustainable air travel has plagued the green movement for decades, Ecojet is by far the most significant step towards a solution to date.
“The desire to travel is deeply etched into the human spirit, and flights free of C02 emissions, powered by renewable energy will allow us to explore our incredible world without harming it for the first time.”
You can’t catch a net zero flight yet, but you can still try to take a more environmentally-friendly holiday. Check out our guide to the world’s most eco-friendly cities