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Wed, Nov 29, 2023

Surf Air Mobility to Electrify Entire Cessna Caravan Fleet

Regional Operator Hopes Operational Costs Halve After Conversion

Surf Air Mobility will embark on a campaign to convert its Cessna 208 Caravan fleet to all-electric power, working with Brazilian company Azul.

The carrier says they can “take a meaningful step toward their goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.” They believe they can achieve certification of a proprietary electrified powertrain some time in 2026, working with Azul to propagate emissions-free tech across the regional airline industry - or, in their terms, the “regional air mobility market”. Azul operates 27 Caravans throughout Brazil, serving 80 discrete destinations. Even the 1st generation electric powertrain is hoped to reduce direct operating costs by up to 50%, though the firm is careful to note they reduce (direct) emissions by 100%. New routes previously too costly for JetA turboprops may be in the cards, should the electric powertrain prove as affordable as promised.

Surf Air will collaborate with Azul to create a "clearer pathway for certification of electrified aircraft".

“It’s important for Surf Air Mobility to develop our technology with operators that will be the direct beneficiaries of the coming transition to electrified aircraft. We’re very excited to work with Azul to help us design our technology and define how our electric powertrains can best be deployed within an existing regional network in order for passengers to gain as much benefit from the technology as possible,” said Stan Little, CEO of Surf Air Mobility. “With Azul’s support, we believe we can further accelerate the Supplemental Type Certification process and bring the technology to market faster and with more certainty."

"It is with great pleasure that we receive the opportunity to collaborate with Surf Air Mobility in the evolution of technology for electrified aircraft. The partnership between the two companies will be crucial for the successful development and implementation of these innovations," said Flavio Costa, president of Azul Conecta. "We look forward to working together, designing the technology, and integrating our electric motors into our fleet in an optimized way. We believe that with this agreement signed, we can accelerate the certification process, ensuring a quicker and safer introduction of this revolutionary technology to the market, thereby positively transforming the future of the airline sector.”

FMI: www.surfair.com

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