Climate Action

Norwegian airline Widerøe teams with Rolls-Royce to research zero emission flights

Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, has partnered with industrial technology experts Rolls Royce to develop zero emissions air travel.

  • 03 September 2019
  • Django Zimmatore

Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, has partnered with industrial technology experts Rolls Royce to develop zero emissions air travel.

The programme, announced at a Clean Aerospace event at the British Embassy in Oslo, is part of Widerøe´s goal of replacing their regional fleet of over 30 planes with new electric ones by 2030.

The aim of the programme is to develop an electrical aircraft concept to reach the goal of zero-emissions by 2030, but also to replace Widerøe’s legacy fleet of regional aircraft world-wide.

Andreas Aks, Chief Strategy Officer at Widerøe, said: “We are aiming to have emission-free commercial flights in the air by 2030. Partnering with Rolls-Royce for this research programme puts us one step closer to reaching that goal.

“The development of electric aviation looks promising, but we need to progress faster. We are therefore pleased to have the world’s most renowned engine manufacturer on board with us on this pioneering green journey”.

Rolls-Royce will use its expertise in electrical systems design to help advise on all parts of the project. The first phase is already underway, with expert teams in Norway and the UK working closely together on operational studies and concept proofing.

The Norwegian Government is supportive of Widerøe’s programme and has announced ambitious goals for the aviation industry, aiming for emission-free domestic air travel by 2040.

Alan Newby, Director of Aerospace Technology & Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce said: “We’re delighted to be part of this electrical aircraft research programme and applaud the high level of ambition that Norway is adopting toward zero-emissions aviation.

“Now more than ever, we acknowledge that society’s greatest technological challenge is the need for lower carbon power and we have a crucial role to play in creating cleaner, more sustainable and scalable power for the future. This includes the electrification of flight, in addition to increasing the fuel efficiency of our gas turbines and encouraging the development of sustainable aviation fuels.”

Photograph: Widerøe