High profile green industrialist Dale Vince, pictured, is to launch what he intends to become the UK’s first all-electric airline.

Ecotricity, Vince’s 28-year old low carbon power & gas retailer, intends its new Ecojet fleet of electric planes will carry their first paying passengers next year, according to a media report today.

Awkwardly, though, the green airline’s first eighteen months of flights will be fuelled by carbon-heavy kerosene or gasoline.  Vince intends the compromise as way for Ecojet to lift its wheels and earn income as soon as possible.

All-electric commercial flights to continental destinations will follow from 2025, once Ecojet and its suppliers obtain airworthiness certification to operate a fleet of 70-seat planes.

Vince told the Guardian he intended Ecojet to be a “green flag flag carrier for Britain”.

Southampton to Edinburgh will, the paper reports, be the airline’s maiden route, served by a 19-seater turboprop twin running on conventional avgas.  Landing slots with other airports and registration with the CAA are now in hand, Vince told the Guardian newspaper.

Observers speculated that electric-only planes for the venture may be provided by aviation pioneer’s Valery Mifthakov’s ZeroAvia, based at Kemble, Gloucestershire, close to Ecotricity’s base in Stroud.  The Energyst has approached Ecotricity seeking confirmation.

In January, ZeroAvia announced successful test circuits over its Cotswold field of a converted Dornier 228. A hydrogen-fuelled battery had replaced one of the 19-seater’s conventional avgas fuelled engines.

AGS, operators of Southampton & Glasgow airports among others, part-owns ZeroAvia.

Vince, a private donor to Just Stop Oil as well as the Labour party, told the Guardian Ecojet would compete on price with established short-haul airlines, across a network linking major British cities. The green campaigner & entrepreneur would break his own no-fly rule, once Ecojet’s electric network became established.

Of the airline’s first initial flights using polluting kerosene or leaded gasoline, Vince admitted to the paper: “It does feel like a contradiction”.

“But at the heart of this project is upcycling existing planes and retrofitting them. This is the pragmatic approach, which means we won’t lose time.

“We will build up the infrastructure, get the planes in the air and swap in the engines when they are available,” he said.

Next year’s maiden flights will see Ecojet’s passengers fed plant-based meals and in-flight crew wearing plant-based fabrics. Vince’s football club Forest Green Rovers already serve meat-free food to spectators & players.

In September 2022, Forest Green Rovers flew the Palestinian flag at its ground, leading to two sponsors reportedly cancelling their support.

Vince’s passion for the union flag lead him to dispute with EdF UK in the early 20teens the French-controlled nuclear operator’s use of the national emblem in its marketing.


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