easyJet partner Wright Electric progresses to next phase of electric aircraft

European low cost carrier easyJet has reported that its strategy to reduce carbon emissions and noise through the development of electric aircraft is progressing following the news that its US partner Wright Electric has applied for a patent on a novel motor design for an easyJet-sized aircraft.

US start-up Wright Electric said it has started to develop an electric engine that will power a nine seater aircraft that could be flying as soon as next year, heralding the transition towards an all-electric commercial passenger jet operating between London to Amsterdam – Europe’s second busiest route where strong demand for day return trips makes it an ideal electric ‘flyway’.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said “Electric flying is becoming a reality and we can now foresee a future that is not exclusively dependent on jet fuel.”

He said the target range of the electric aircraft is around 500 kilometres which would mean operating on a busy European route such as London-Amsterdam could offer significant reductions in noise and carbon emissions, with multiple take offs and landings every day.

“We think the Netherlands has an opportunity to lead the way if the Government and airports encourage airlines to operate in the most sustainable way now and in the future and incentivise them through a different and lower charging structure,” he added.

easyJet carried 22 million passengers since its very first flight from Amsterdam to London in 1996, now flying up to 22 flights a day which account for 34 per cent of the total airline’s capacity out of Amsterdam.