Green aircraft

Zero emission flights proposed for Edinburgh

Ecojet planes may start operating within the next two years (pic: Dale Vince)

A green energy entrepreneur is to begin operating the world’s first zero-emissions airline with services to and from Edinburgh.

Dale Vince, the founder of Ecotricity, is launching a small fleet of turbo-prop planes fuelled by kerosene for the first year until they are ready to use hydrogen-electricity powertrains.

The Ecojet service will have up to four 19-seater planes capable of flying 300 miles by 2025 and hopes to begin operating 500 mile journeys – carrying 70 passengers to and from Europe – by the end of the decade.

Test flights for zero-emission light aircraft have been undertaken but the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has yet to license passenger services. Commercial airports do not have the infrastructure for recharging.

Mr Vince, 61, who lives in Gloucestershire, said he is embracing the technology “ten to 15 years earlier than the rest of the industry is planning to do.”

He needs to find £10 million to satisfy financial requirements set by the CAA, either from investors or from his own resources.

“We’ll start selling tickets early next year and get a feel for that,” he told The Times. “I’m really excited about it because up until now, flying is the last frontier of how we’re going to live a greener life.

“At the moment the green movement is telling us we have to give up flying. You can’t say that and hope to get tens of millions of people on board. So for me it’s exciting for everything we need to do to live a greener life. We have the technology.”

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