Universal Hydrogen Co and Connect Airlines (a division of Waltzing Matilda Aviation) have signed a letter of intent (LOI) for new green-energy propulsion to enable Connect to become the first zero-emission US-based airline.
Both parties will introduce true-zero regional emission aircraft into service in North America starting in 2025.
Connect Airlines has committed to purchase 24 of Universal Hydrogen’s green hydrogen conversion kits, consisting of a firm order for 12 Dash 8-300 kits and purchase rights for 12 additional kits of other aircraft types.
The conversion kits consist of a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain compatible with Universal Hydrogen’s modular capsule technology. Universal Hydrogen targets installing its conversion kits by 2025 and will supply green hydrogen fuel to the Connect Airlines fleet under a long-term agreement.
Connect Airlines will soon launch a service using its “GreenJet” Dash 8 turboprop aircraft, which will reduce fuel consumption and carbon footprint by approximately 35% versus the regional jets it replaces.
John Thomas, the CEO, Connect Airlines, said, “In addition to this LOI, we were pleased to participate in Universal Hydrogen’s recent $62 million financing round.”
Paul Eremenko, CEO of Universal Hydrogen, commented, “The bold step that Connect Airlines is making in being the first airline to commit to true zero-emissions operation in the relatively near term.”