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European airline buys electric trainers

The Latvian airline airBaltic signed a letter of intent to acquire three electric-powered Diamond Aircraft eDA40s for its airBaltic Training unit as part of the company’s strategy to expand its training fleet while increasing sustainability in its operations.

Photo courtesy of Diamond Aircraft.

The agreement, announced at the Baltic International Airshow in Liepāja, Latvia, also includes two Diamond DA42-VI light twins. The new acquisitions will bring the airBaltic Pilot Academy training fleet to a total of 15 aircraft.

The airline said the eDA40, which it expects to be the first aircraft in its category certified by the FAA and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, represents a significant step toward zero-emission flight training. EASA certification is expected in 2025. The airplane is equipped with features aimed at boosting efficiency, reliability, and safety. Its batteries’ ability to recharge in 20 to 30 minutes makes this electric aircraft increasingly attractive for training programs where flight cycles tend to be short.

“The upcoming arrival of these innovative aircraft is a significant milestone in our mission to provide top-tier, sustainable training for future pilots. We are dedicated to expanding our fleet with cutting-edge technology to meet the growing demand for highly skilled aviation professionals,” said Pauls Cālītis, chief operations officer of airBaltic. He added that the aircraft acquisitions will take place “gradually until 2030.”

A number of training operations have begun testing electric aircraft such as the eDA40 and the Pipistrel Velis Electro. Lufthansa Aviation Training, the German airline’s pilot training program, has tested the eDA40 in its regular operations. Lufthansa said the eDA40 integrated seamlessly without disrupting the training schedule.

“We are delighted to be part of the eDA40 development process,” said Matthias Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa Aviation Training. “It gives us a deep understanding of the new technology used and enables us to use it for the most advanced training.”

Jonathan Welsh
Jonathan Welsh
Digital Media Content Producer
Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot, career journalist and lifelong aviation enthusiast who previously worked as a writer and editor with Flying Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
Topics: Electric, Diamond Aircraft

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