Story at a glance

  • Hydrogen airplane startup ZeroAvia on Wednesday announced plans to carry out the first commercial hydrogen-electric flights between Rotterdam and London in 2024.
  • The company is currently developing a 19-seater aircraft that flies entirely on hydrogen.
  • ZeroAvia says it’s in advanced partnership talks with airlines to agree on an operator for the planned route.

Commercial flights using hydrogen-powered airplanes are expected to take to the skies in Europe over the next several years through a new partnership. 

Hydrogen airplane startup ZeroAvia on Wednesday announced plans to carry out the first commercial hydrogen-electric flights between Rotterdam and London in 2024. The company is currently developing a 19-seater aircraft that flies entirely on hydrogen. 

ZeroAvia is partnering with airport company Royal Schiphol Group, Rotterdam The Hague Innovation Airport Foundation and Rotterdam the Hague Airport to make the commercial flights possible. 

“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 said in a release

The company says it’s in advanced partnership talks with airlines to agree on an operator for the planned route. 


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Last year, ZeroAvia carried out the world’s first hydrogen fuel-cell-powered flight of a commercial aircraft. The six-seater plane took off from the company’s research and development facility in Cranfield, England, and flew for 20 minutes before landing. 

The startup is aiming to commercialize its technology over the next three years with flights up to 500 miles in airplanes with up to 20 seats. By 2030, it hopes to fly hydrogen-powered aircraft with more than 100 seats. 

The announcement comes as the aviation industry is facing increasing pressure to cut carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. 

“This deal means that, in just three years’ time, you should be able to board a flight and make the hour journey between the UK and Netherlands without worrying about the impact on the climate,” Sergey Kiselev, ZeroAvia’s head of Europe, said in a statement.


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Published on Oct 27, 2021