The aviation sector is planning zero emission commercial passenger flights between Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTHA) and London with a 19-seater aircraft in 2024.
The aircraft, currently under development by ZeroAvia, will fly entirely on hydrogen. ZeroAvia, Royal Schiphol Group, Rotterdam The Hague Innovation Airport Foundation and the airport itself have announced a partnership to realize this ambition today.
The deal sets a solid timeline for the launch of the first zero emission commercial passenger flights between the UK and the Netherlands, and potentially the first international commercial operation in the world. ZeroAvia and Royal Schiphol Group are in advanced partnership talks with airlines to agree on an operator for the planned route.
Through the partnership to deliver this commercial route, ZeroAvia and Royal Schiphol Group will collaborate on testing and demonstrating hydrogen supply chain refuelling operations and integration with airport operations. The two companies will also focus on ensuring the pathway for commercially adopting hydrogen-electric aviation, including establishing the right regulatory framework and understanding industry and public appetite for zero emissions flight powered by hydrogen.
ZeroAvia recently established a legal entity in the Netherlands. This will enable the company to create opportunities for commercialization and partnership with airports, airframe manufacturers and/or airlines, within the Netherlands and wider European Union.
ZeroAvia has focused its R&D on developing a hydrogen-electric powertrain – using hydrogen fuel cells to power electric motors – as a viable way to tackle aviation’s climate change impacts at scale. With the hydrogen-electric system ZeroAvia is pioneering, the only emission is water vapour at manageable temperatures, allowing for sustainable flights.
Hydrogen-electric propulsion will have the additional benefit of lower operating costs, making routes more attractive to airlines and airports and passengers.