Ampaire has announced a Letter of Intent (LoI) to upgrade Azul Conecta’s Grand Caravans to Ampaire Eco Caravans.
The Azul Conecta order follows the first flight of the Eco Caravan in November 2022 and the announcement days later of a $9 million award from the US Department of Energy to help Ampaire advance systems so that they are ready for FAA certification and series production.
According to Ampaire, the Eco Caravan will meet the regional carrier’s objectives of reducing operating costs by 25 percent or more while advancing the carrier’s sustainability objectives and seamlessly integrating into its current operations.
Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker, said: “We are thrilled to work with the visionary team at Azul Conecta. They are among a group of established air carriers ready to embrace a hybrid-electric solution, providing leadership for an entire industry.”
Azul ordered upgrade kits for its Caravan fleet because it sees the hybrid-electric solution as the fastest way to deploy sustainable technologies, benefiting passengers and the environment.
Flavio Costa, Azul Conecta’s CEO, commented: “After evaluating a range of technologies, including fully-electric and hydrogen fuel cells, we concluded that Ampaire moves us toward our ESG goals much sooner. Azul Conecta has innovation as a mission and sees the upgrade to the Eco Caravan as a major innovation that accelerates our path to sustainability, maintaining a safety standard in our operations, which is our first and non-negotiable value.”
Azul Conecta will work in consultation with Ampaire to develop charging infrastructure across Conecta’s bases and at other airports. The airline will also provide services to other Eco Caravan operators throughout South America.