RIYADH: The Red Sea Development Co. has signed a memorandum of understanding with ZeroAvia, a British-American hydrogen-electric aviation firm, to test and develop zero-emission travel across its new luxury tourism destination with a focus on environmental sustainability and regeneration.
Signed during the Farnborough International Airshow in London, the deal will explore options to retrofit a fleet of around 30 seaplane variants of the Cessna Caravan using ZeroAvia hydrogen-electric propulsion technology to fly without emissions.
TRSDC and ZeroAvia will work together to develop the technology, including collaborating on a roadmap for delivering the production, supply and infrastructure necessary to support hydrogen-powered air travel in Saudi Arabia, said ZeroAvia in a statement.
The aviation company aims to install a 600kW system in the Cessna Caravan, which is expected to start flying by 2024.“Trialing ZeroAvia’s 600kW hydrogen-electric powertrains for the Caravan means tourists could be taking these zero-emission flights to the destination by the middle of this decade,” said James Peck, vice president, business development at ZeroAvia.
The partnership is part of TRSDC’s plan to offer fully sustainable connectivity across its destination, including The Red Sea Project, a luxury, regenerative tourism destination, and the recently acquired AMAALA project, located further north on the Red Sea coast.
“We are an incubator of ideas, leveraging the most innovative concepts and technologies to help us deliver a new archetype for tourism, which pushes beyond sustainability to deliver regeneration for people and the planet,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.
He added: “Clean, green transport is fundamental to realizing that aim, which is why we’re working with forward-thinking partners such as ZeroAvia, to bring about a new way of traveling.”