The Dubai-based firm has partnered with US start-up Wright Electric to install electric charging infrastructure in its global network of FBOs
Electric private planes could be flying over the skies of the UAE as soon as next year as part of a partnership between Dubai-headquartered Jetex Flight Support and US start-up Wright Electric, according to Jetex CEO Adel Mardini.
The partnership, first announced last year, will see Jetex install electric charging infrastructure for electric jets in its global network of FBOs [fixed-based operators] and invest in the production of the first electric private business jets.
“We agreed with them to build electric stations in our FBOs around the world, and we’ll be providing support for electric planes,” Mardini said in an exclusive interview with Arabian Business.
“We’ll start [with the routes between] Dubai-Muscat and Dubai-Salalah,” he added. “We’ll then expand to the rest of our locations as well.”
Mardini added that the company is “still expecting [the infrastructure to be ready] by next year.”
Jetex has a network of FBOs in nearly 40 locations around the world, including Dubai, Muscat and four in Morocco.
According to the firm, the proposed electric aircraft has an estimate range of approximately 540 km, meaning that a passenger could fly between Dubai and Muscat or between the Spanish city of Malaga to Casablanca in Morocco, for example.
Wright Electric has the stated aim of making every short-haul flight a zero-emissions flight within 20 years. According to Wright, the airplanes – which will use battery packed and cell technology – will be 50 percent quieter and 10 percent less expensive to operate than traditional models.
In late 2017, Wright Electric and EasyJet announced a partnership that will see them cooperate in the development of electric-powered, environmentally friendly short-haul airliners that could potentially transport 180 passengers as far as 500 km.
Around the world, a number of companies are experimenting with plans for electric aircraft. Earlier this year, for example, Munich-based start-up Lilium announced the successful maiden flight of a five-person electric air taxi, while in Russia, the country’s Foundation For Advanced Research Projects announced that the first flight of an electric aircraft will take place in 2020.
Another firm, Zunum Aero – which is backed by JetBlue Technology Ventures and Boeing Horizon X – has announced plans for a 12-person electric business jet to take flight in 2022.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.