Bookings open for first all-electric flights around Scandinavia … in 2028

You'll need to be fast to score one of 30 tickets for planes that don't go very far

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) will today start to take bookings for its first-ever commercial flights on electricity-powered planes – scheduled for 2028.

At noon central European time, the airline will allow registration for 30 seats on one of three inaugural flights. SAS can't say where the planes will leave from, nor where they will land – which may be why it will take bookings but won't require payment until 30 days before takeoff. Simply registering for the spot is free, and interested parties can do so here.

One thing SAS will say is it plans to fly startup Heart Aerospace's ES-30 hybrid electric regional aircraft – claimed to produce zero emissions of CO2, NOX and ultrafine particulates.

The ES-30's four electric motors can use a combination of batteries and hybrid turbogenerators.

In all-electric mode, range is just 200km. In hybrid mode with a full load of 30 passengers, that extends to 600km. Flying with five fewer folk aboard allows 800km journeys.

The plane's batteries are manufactured in partnership with BAE systems

A prototype of the ES-30 is expected in 2026, and SAS evidently expects to fly it with people on board just two years later.

SAS is not the only customer for the plane. Air Canada has made a provisional order for 30, United Airlines and its Mesa Air regional partner are reportedly among many to have some on order as well.

If the successful would-be-passengers find themselves busy by the time 2028 rolls around, the seat is transferable free of charge.

The price (1,946 Swedish Krona, or about $180) is a gimmick – 1946 was the year of SAS's inaugural flight. If a passenger would like to pay in either Norwegian or Danish Krone instead, the price will remain 1946 of those currencies. The Reg has done the math and recommends paying in NKK ($176) and definitely not DKK ($281) – assuming exchange rates remain fairly stable until ticket holders have to cough up that cash. However, the currency paid is linked to the country of the flight.

SAS has a goal to hit net-zero emissions by 2050. Using electric vehicles for shorter runs is part of the strategy to get there.

The airline would like to remind everyone that it’s been an innovator before. SAS was the first commercial airline operator to fly over the North Pole to shorten flight time between continents. The feat earned it the Columbus Prize, boasted SAS CEO Anko van der Werff in a press release.

"The fact that we can now invite our passengers to the next major milestone in the future of aviation is a natural continuation of that pioneering spirit and a significant step on our journey towards more sustainable aviation," said the CEO. ®

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