The owner of an English football club has announced plans to run small, electric flights between Edinburgh and Europe.
Green industrialist Dale Vince announced the launch of Ecojet, the world’s first electric airline, on Tuesday.
Flights across the UK will commence in early 2024, starting with routes to and from Edinburgh and expanding to mainland Europe shortly after, with long-haul flights planned for the future.
Vince said: “The question of how to create sustainable air travel has plagued the green movement for decades, Ecojet is by far the most significant step towards a solution to date.
“The desire to travel is deeply etched into the human spirit, and flights free of co2 emissions, powered by renewable energy will allow us to explore our incredible world without harming it for the first time.”
The 61-year-old green energy tycoon has previously made headlines for his work with the UK’s first carbon-neutral football team, the Forest Green Rovers.
He became a major shareholder and chairman of the semi-professional club in 2010, implementing eco-friendly initiatives and turning it into the world’s first all-vegan football club.
Ecojet’s fleet will comprise of conventional planes retrofitted with hydrogen-electric powertrains.
Once converted, the aircraft is expected to operate with the same power output as before, but with a 100% reduction in co2 and other emissions.
The decision to repurpose old planes rather than build new models from scratch is expected to save 90,000 tonnes of carbon per year.
Ecojet says that the only byproduct will be water, which can be captured and released into the lower atmosphere to avoid the harmful effects of contrails.
On board, Vince’s airline will take further steps to reduce the impact of the industry – including plant-based meals, no single-use plastic and staff donning environmentally-friendly uniforms.