Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS), innovators in hydrogen-electric fuel cell propulsion technology, today announced a three-party agreement with MONTE Aircraft Leasing (MONTE) and Australian air charter company Torres Strait Air to convert up to ten Britten-Norman Islander aircraft to hydrogen-electric power.
Image courtesy Cranfield Aerospace Solutions
The deal, which comes shortly after Torres Strait Air signed a letter of intent for ten new conventional Britten-Norman Islander aircraft, will see MONTE, a pioneer in financing low emission and zero emission technologies in the sub-regional aviation market, provide financing to Torres Strait Air for the conversion of existing Britten-Norman Islanders, and CAeS integrate its hydrogen-electric propulsion system technology into the aircraft.
CAeS and MONTE’s partnership vision, dating back to November 2022 when MONTE signed an LOI to purchase 40 modification kits from CAeS, is to bring financing and leasing solutions to sub-regional operators to enable them to adopt zero-emissions aircraft operations.
The deal will enable Torres Strait Air, which currently operates a fleet of eleven aircraft from Horn Island, to serve the vital air transport needs of the Torres Strait community in a sustainable way with zero-emission flight.
Chief Strategy Officer at CAeS, Jenny Kavanagh says: “We’re delighted to be expanding into the Australian market with our world-leading hydrogen propulsion technology, working with MONTE to enable Torres Strait Air to bring zero emissions air services to their Islands.”
Chief Operating Officer at MONTE, Timothy Eyre says: “We are excited to support Torres Strait Air in the decarbonization of their fleet and look forward to working with our partners at Cranfield Aerospace Solutions on this exciting project. This agreement highlights MONTE’s commitment to supporting regional aviation operators globally with their sustainability goals’
Chief Executive Officer at Torres Strait Air, Daniel Takai says: “This partnership with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and MONTE Aircraft Leasing is the commencement of Torres Strait Air’s journey towards a more sustainable future for Torres Strait and its people. I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to working alongside our partners as the technology develops to achieve our goal of zero-carbon emissions in our aviation operations.”