A European airline today opened reservations for its first ever commercial electric flights – but don’t expect a booking for this year’s summer break. Or the next four after that. Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) aims to make the first trips within Sweden, Norway and Denmark by 2028 – and even that sounds ambitious.
The company still hasn’t chosen an aircraft for the trip, which isn’t surprising as the planes are still being built. SAS is also not ready to tell customers the date, departure location, distance or duration of their flights. The airline promises to release further details “when decided”.
Another potential obstacle is regulatory hurdles. The new certification rules for electric flying have so far lagged behind technological development.
All this makes it natural to have doubts about the timeline. According to SAS, the forecasts are based about talks with potential suppliers and the first electric flight “is estimated to be carried out in 2028”. Specifically, that’s when the ES-30 aircraft will enter service.
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Developed by Swedish startup Heart Aerospace, the ES30 is expected to carry 30 passengers over an all-electric range of 200 km. iIn September 2022, SAS signed a “letter of support” about adding the model to its regional fleet.
However, the airline says it has still not made a final decision on which aircraft will operate the first flight. Nevertheless, it bills ticket sales alone as a historic moment.
“The fact that we can now invite our passengers to the next major milestone in the future of aviation is a natural continuation of that pioneering spirit and an important step towards more sustainable aviation,” said Anko van der Werff, CEO of SAS, in a statement.
Despite the apparent confidence, SAS is unwilling to guarantee starts in 2028. On the plus side, tickets are priced at a relatively reasonable 1946 Swedish Krona (€168) – a nod to the year SAS started flying. And if your plans change, you can transfer the reservation to someone else.
If that convinces you to take the chance, book a seat here. There are 30 seats available on each of the three inaugural flights.