Maastricht Airport opens the door to Electrifly

OK, so it’s not strictly air cargo (and there’s no reason it cannot morph into that area), but the news is too ‘electriflying’ to pass up on, as it offers a tiny, positive step towards greener flight within Europe. Talk is of Europe’s first international electric flights. ‘International’ in this case means flights between the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. The Netherlands’ Maastricht Aachen Airport (MST) is the pioneer, hosting the first publicly accessible electric powered flights, following the creation of a joint venture initiative between the airports in Maastricht, Liège, and Aachen. Leading European center for Aerospace and Engineering alongside, FH Aachen, together with business aviation operator, ASL Group (ASL – also providing ground handling services and a flight school), and electric road vehicles manufacturer, NIO, are collaborating on the Electrifly project.

A tiny, yet electrifying step into the future. Image: Menzies

Electrifly offers open-to-public electric flights through a pilot scheme between the three airports, on a first-come, first-served booking basis between 01JUL24 and 31AUG24. The electric flight option in a two-seater Pipistrel aircraft includes the possibility of an electric door-to-door taxi service provided by NIO within a 15 km radius of the respective airports, so that passengers can travel green both on the ground and in the air. “All flights offered are based on the EASA cost-sharing principle, with the cost shared between the pilot and passengers,” the release points out.

Jonas van Stekelenburg, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MST, stated: “The Electrifly project is a glimpse into the future of aviation and an open invitation to all kind of parties who want to develop the future of eAviation to do so at Maastricht Aachen Airport. It is a huge step forward in MST’s mission to facilitate zero-emission flights available for the public, opening the door to sustainable air links between regional airports and partnerships with mobility and aviation partners who strive for the same goals regarding zero-emission transportation. Anyone pursuing this goal is welcome at our airport, this innovative partnership is a spectacular achievement for Euregio and underlines our belief that MST is the perfect location and facility for testing and developing eAviation. I would like to applaud the tireless, dedicated, and professional contribution that FH, ASL and NIO have made toward this project, and we hope to work on similar projects in the future with FH, ASL, NIO and other parties who can accelerate the development of eAviation.”

Ruben Keuter, General Manager, NIO, Netherlands, said: “NIO is proud to be able to provide the emission free limousine service from door to airport and airport to destination in this amazing project. Electrifly and NIO share the same goal – to provide a cleaner future for next generations – and both are groundbreaking in bringing new technologies to the market; the future is here!

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