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MEHAIR places conditional order for up to 20 ZA600 hydrogen-electric engines with ZeroAvia

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Hyderabad, Jan 18 (PTI) Mumbai-based seaplane operator MEHAIR has placed a conditional order for up to 20 ZA600 hydrogen-electric engines with ZeroAvia.

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MEHAIR (Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd) has ambitious plans to grow across a range of sub-regional routes pan-India with both amphibian and wheeled aircraft, the US-based engine maker said on Thursday.

MEHAIR will explore a range of options for financing the acquisition and retrofit of the engines to its upcoming fleet of 10 Cessna Caravan aircraft, including working with potential leasing partners, according to the statement.

The MEHAIR order adds to the over 2,000 engine pre-orders secured by ZeroAvia, it said.

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"The rapid increase in demand for flights will be a key driver of economic growth and social and cultural exchange, but clean flight technology will be essential to ensure it does not derail net zero progress," said James Peck, Chief Customer Officer at ZeroAvia.

Peck further said that Hydrogen fuel cell propulsion can offer lower operating costs and zero-emission flight, driving a rapid increase in regional aviation and supporting dramatic expansion of MEHAIR's operations.

ZeroAvia and MEHAIR will also work together on establishing the fuel supply for the operator's services across India, it said.

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"Operating under the central governments regional connectivity scheme, UDAN, amphibian and other small-wheeled aircraft can provide the much-needed 'last-mile' connectivity by bringing in a seamless network of runways and waterways, all the while offering an exceptional experience for passengers and boosting local economies," said Siddharth Verma, Managing Director at MEHAIR.

Hydrogen-electric engines use hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity, which is then used to power electric motors to turn the aircraft's propellers. The only emission is water.

The company in 2011 had commenced its seaplane services with flights to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

ZeroAvia plans to certify the ZA600 by the end of 2025 and is already working closely with the UK's Civil Aviation Authority as well as other regulators to ensure harmonization and rapid certification globally, the company said. PTI IAS DRR

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