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Sweden’s Heart Aerospace says it has a hybrid electric airliner “the industry can actually use” and Air Canada is gambling they’re right. Canada’s largest airline announced it’s buying 30 Heart ES-30s and hopes to be the launch operator as soon as 2028. “We have designed a cost efficient airplane that allows airlines to deliver good service on a wide range of routes,” said Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace. “With the ES-30 we can start cutting emissions from air travel well before the end of this decade.”

The ES-30 is a short haul (125-250 mile) 30-seat design that looks like a small conventional regional airliner. Inside, it has two-plus-one seating with familiar airliner features like overhead bins a lav and galley. With a full charge, Heart says it will take all 30 passengers and their bags 125 miles (assumably with IFR reserves). Fire up the onboard turbine generator (running on sustainable aviation fuel) and there’s a 250-mile range. Ground charging will take 30-50 minutes and the use of SAF makes it a net-zero carbon trip depending on the electricity source for the ground charge. 

Heart has already sold United Airlines and Mesa Group up to 300 copies of an earlier 19-seat design. It’s not clear whether those orders will be converted to the bigger aircraft. Meanwhile, Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau said the ES-30 is a step in the airline’s long-term sustainability goal to be net-zero by 2050. Although Canada is a vast country, it has pockets of dense population where the 125-250-mile range will work on Air Canada’s regional network.

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