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ZeroAvia tasks Itochu with sales in Japan
Trading and investment company Itochu will leverage its extensive industry network and seek opportunities with Japanese airline operators and local infrastructure providers.
Chief customer officer James Peck.

ZeroAvia has appointed Itochu Corporation to act as the primary sales representative in Japan for its hydrogen-electric aircraft engines. Itochu will leverage its extensive industry network and seek opportunities with Japanese airline operators and local infrastructure providers.

James Peck, chief customer officer, says: "With Itochu's extensive and successful networks in the region, this partnership will bring us closer to achieving widespread adoption of our hydrogen-electric engines and multiple business developments, including MRO and infrastructure in Asian countries."

ZeroAvia is currently working through certification of its first engine, the ZA600, a 600kW powertrain targeting the sub-20 seat regional turboprop market. A prototype engine has been flight tested aboard a Dornier 228 testbed in the UK over the last year. The company is also developing ZA2000, a larger two to five MW modular engine designed for 40 to 80 seat aircraft such as the ATR and Dash 8 families.

ZeroAvia's engines use clean hydrogen in fuel cells in a chemical reaction to create electricity, which then powers electric motors to drive propellers. With no combustion of fuel, there is no emission other than low temperature water vapour, meaning that aircraft retrofit with the engines can become true zero-emission, electric aircraft, while maintaining commercially viable range and payload. Hydrogen-electric propulsion also promises economic advantages through reduced fuel and maintenance costs.

Itochu has a substantial aircraft leasing business, offering a wide variety of aircraft and engine financing. The company is also the largest shareholder in aircraft interior and component manufacturer and MRO service provider Jamco, as well as acting as a sales agent for many international aerospace organisations.

Yu Takahashi, general manager, aerospace department, adds: "Through this partnership with ZeroAvia, Itochu shows its firm commitment to decarbonising the aviation industry in Asia, thereby contributing towards the creation of a decarbonised and sustainable society and reducing the burden on the global environment, while also promoting economic growth. We are very excited to work with ZeroAvia on the development of innovative technological solutions to pioneer the journey into the future of air travel."

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