Brazilian airline Azul Conecta is planning to electrify its existing Cessna Caravan fleet with Surf Air Mobility's proprietary electrified powertrain. Certification of the powertrain should be achieved in 2026 in the US. This is a meaningful step for Azul toward its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. Both companies hope to be a catalyst for change within South America, and believe their shared vision for improving aviation's environmental impact positions them to accelerate development and time to market of electric aircraft. By directly collaborating on both the technical and regulatory specifications of electric Cessna Caravan, they intend to create a clearer pathway for certification of electrified aircraft within Brazil.
"It is with great pleasure that we receive the opportunity to collaborate with Surf Air Mobility in the evolution of technology for electrified aircraft. The partnership between the two companies will be crucial for the successful development and implementation of these innovations," says Flavio Costa, president of Azul Conecta. "We look forward to working together, designing the technology and integrating our electric motors into our fleet in an optimised way. We believe that with this agreement signed, we can accelerate the certification process, ensuring a quicker and safer introduction of this revolutionary technology to the market, thereby positively transforming the future of the airline sector."
"It's important for Surf Air Mobility to develop our technology with operators that will be the direct beneficiaries of the coming transition to electrified aircraft. We're very excited to work with Azul to help us design our technology and define how our electric powertrains can best be deployed within an existing regional network in order for passengers to gain as much benefit from the technology as possible," says CEO Stan Little. "With Azul's support, we believe we can further accelerate the supplemental type certification process and bring the technology to market faster and with more certainty."
Azul currently operates 27 Cessna Caravan 208 aircraft and flies to over 80 destinations within Brazil. This agreement will help make it possible to upgrade Azul's existing aircraft with fully electric powertrains once Surf Air Mobility's proprietary technology is developed and certified. Surf Air Mobility's first generation fully electric powertrain technology is targeted to reduce direct operating costs by as much as 50 per cent and eliminate 100 per cent of direct carbon emissions. These performance improvements can have profound impacts on how Azul operates its Cessna Caravan network.
The companies believe fully electric Cessna Caravan have the potential to meaningfully improve the economics of Azul's existing routes, eliminate direct emissions and launch new routes that may not be economically viable with traditional combustion aircraft.
"We are particularly excited about the impact electric Cessna Caravan could have on Azul's potential ability to launch new routes and address an even larger audience within Brazil,” adds Surf Air head of business development Jamie Strecker.