Finnair has signalled its interest for electric aviation as a force to be reckoned with for future flying, signing a Letter of Interest for Heart Aerospace's Electric ES-19 electric aircraft, which is currently under development.
Finnair could acquire up to 20 of the new 19-seater Heart Aerospace ES-19 electric aircraft, for use on the airline’s short routes. According to Heart Aerospace, the aircraft are expected to be available for first commercial flights in 2026.
Anne Larilahti, Finnair Vice President of Sustainability, said: “Finnair believes electric aviation will be one of the tools for the future of flying. It will help to promote responsible and sustainable aviation especially on short routes, in an era where climate change will increasingly dominate the agenda.
“We want to be actively involved in developing and implementing new technologies which enable carbon-neutral flying.
“Solving the climate challenge of flying is essential so that the social and economic benefits of aviation can continue. Many of the measures require collaboration across industries in tandem with partners playing a key role in our ongoing sustainability work."
Anders Forslund, CEO at Heart Aerospace, said: "We're excited about Finnair signing this letter of interest for our ES-19 aircraft. Finnair’s climate goals are among the most ambitious in the airline industry, and we believe that our electric aircraft can play an important role in creating zero emissions regional travel. We've been working closely together in the Nordic Network for some time. We are very impressed by the dedication and commitment of the Finnair team, and we're thankful for their support as we take the next steps in building and certifying the ES-19."
Since 2019, Finnair has been a part of the Nordic Electric Aviation initiative to drive the development of electric flying, with focus on standardising electric air infrastructure in the Nordic countries; developing business models for regional point-to-point connectivity between Nordic countries; developing aircraft technology for Nordic weather conditions; and creating a platform for European and global collaborations.
As part of its industry-leading commitment to sustainability, Finnair is committed to halving its net CO2 emissions by the end of 2025 and achieving carbon neutrality in 2045.
Among the range of measures needed to achieve this are improving fuel efficiency, reducing aircraft weight, combining different modes of transport, emissions trading, and sustainable aviation fuels.