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ZeroAvia finalises engine purchase agreement with Monte
Monte and ZeroAvia aim to retrofit nine to 19 seat aircraft with ZA600 powertrains starting in 2025, while also providing financing, infrastructure, maintenance and hydrogen availability services to support these operations.
Monte is delighted to have formalised a partnership with ZeroAvia.

ZeroAvia, a developer of hydrogen-electric aviation engines, has cemented its agreement with Monte Aircraft Leasing, a London-based zero-emissions regional turboprop aircraft lessor, converting its existing MOU for up to 100 engines to a definitive purchase agreement.

For ZeroAvia, this deal represents an important commercial milestone with the first ZA600 build slots being secured by Monte. As ZeroAvia begins to plan for its production facilities, a good proportion of initial manufacturing capacity is now under commitment.

Monte is also now well positioned to seize significant market share in zero-emissions regional turboprop aircraft leasing. Monte and ZeroAvia aim to retrofit nine to 19 seat aircraft with ZA600 powertrains for airline operators starting in 2025, while also providing financing, infrastructure, maintenance and hydrogen availability services to support these operations.

ZeroAvia is working to certify the ZA600, a 600kW powertrain designed to support nine to 19 seat aircraft, with the Cessna Grand Caravan planned as the launch airframe. With the first phase of prototype flight testing almost complete, the company is on track to meet its 2025 certification timeline.

James Peck, chief customer officer, ZeroAvia, says: “As well as the huge technical and design milestones we are clearing, in tandem we are making enormous commercial progress, which means that operators will be able to fly lower cost, truly clean aircraft sooner. Given its pure play focus on decarbonisation, Monte is a great partner for us, and we believe it will be at the forefront of enabling these early green operations in a growing market.”

Timothy Eyre, chief operating officer, Monte, adds: “We are delighted to have formalised our partnership with ZeroAvia, which has made incredible progress on the ZA600 powertrain since we signed our initial MOU. Through this partnership, we have strengthened Monte's position in the zero-emission, regional turboprop market and enhanced our ability to offer operators solutions to decarbonise their fleets. We look forward to continuing our work with the ZeroAvia team as we continue on our journey to become one of the world's first zero-emission aircraft lessors.”

ZeroAvia's hydrogen-electric engines use fuel cells to convert onboard hydrogen fuel into electricity which then powers electric motors to deliver truly clean flight.

ZeroAvia has also signed an agreement with French aircraft rental company Green Aerolease to provide ZA600 hydrogen-electric engines. Green Aerolease plans to deploy the powertrains in its lessor fleet, as an example with French Cessna Caravan operator Finist'Air, which will look to deploy them to power its own zero-emission routes, in particular from Brittany, including Brest Bretagne airport.

France has recently enacted a ban on short haul domestic flights between cities that are linked by a train journey of less than 2.5 hours. ZeroAvia's first hydrogen-electric product is a 600kW engine for nine to 19 seat aircraft and targets market entry by 2025 with a 300 nm range. This means trips within France and from France to other near countries would be possible, as well as moving existing flights to zero-emission, including some public service obligation (PSO) routes.

For smaller regional operators, zero-emission flight can be a big growth opportunity as well as a solution for emissions impact. ZeroAvia predicts a steep reduction in operating costs thanks to the reduction in maintenance required and lower fuel costs as green hydrogen production matures. A report by NASA suggests that reductions in operating cost of around 40 per cent can lead to a ‘huge expansion’ of demand for regional flight.

James Peck, chief customer officer, ZeroAvia, says: “Finist'Air already provides vital connectivity to remote communities, and implementing zero-emission technology can help the business expand its operations. As an early mover in signing a pre-order for hydrogen-electric, Green Aerolease's customer set have a massive opportunity to capture market share.”

Charles Cabillic, founder, Green Aerolease, adds: “We are very proud to move forward with ZeroAvia in order to decarbonise aviation. With this kind of new propulsion, we will be able to develop air transportation for passengers without carbon emissions. This will definitely revolutionise aviation and take it into a new era.”

ZeroAvia recently flight tested a prototype of its ZA600 for the first time aboard a Dornier 228 aircraft at its UK base in Kemble, Gloucestershire, in January. Hydrogen-electric engines use hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity, which is then used to power electric motors to turn the aircraft's propellers. The only emission is water.

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