The sound of a big fan. The Velis Electro, the first electric aircraft certified by the European Union’s aviation safety agency, enters the runway at Brest-Guipavas aerodrome. Six months after the announcement of the order for 50 electric planes from Pipistrel aircraft, the two-seater is one of the first two units leased by Green Aerolease. A new adventure for Charles Cabillic, the entrepreneur from BrestOpenfly or the airline Finistair.
One year after its creation, the new company, which currently employs five people, aims to become a leader in the rental of electric and hybrid aircraft. “Two to four planes will be delivered each month. After Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône) and Brest, the next two planes leave for Belgium and Lille (North). The next two will be delivered to the Royal Danish Air Force for the initial training of its pilots, ”explains Charles Cabillic.
A strong ecological stake for the aviation sector. Recharged in 40 minutes, the single-engine batteries offer an autonomy of one hour of flight for € 3 of electricity, against € 30 to € 50 of fuel for a thermal airplane of a flying club.
Despite a maintenance cost divided by ten, flying clubs are advancing cautiously on the subject. Hence Charles Cabillic’s idea of a rental at € 3,000 per month, insurance and maintenance included for 250 flight hours.
For Jean-Pascal Royer, its president, without this rental offer, the Brest flying club would have waited five or six years to get started.
“Our goal is to start offering the rental of hybrid business travel planes from 2023.”
Passenger transport from 2023
“There is, however, a real stake in accelerating the transition. The survival of the airline is at stake, ”insists the boss of Green Aerolease. First electric plane, the Pipistrel should, for Charles Cabillic, pave the way for the decarbonisation of air transport needed after the covid crisis, to support the development of on-demand transport.
“The economic model of airlines no longer works outside of low cost”, underlines the company director.
Under these conditions, companies could in turn turn to carbon-free air transport for on-demand flights in France or even in Europe.
A public-private partnership?
As with the flying clubs, Green Aerolease has started to position itself with the most advanced manufacturers. In particular with Voltaéro whose Cassio 1 landed this Friday in Guipavas. The hybrid aircraft foreshadows the arrival, in 2023, of a four-seater aircraft offering on paper 1,200 km of autonomy. One of the 35 decarbonization projects in the world that could allow the air transport to take off again.
“Our goal is to start offering the rental of hybrid business travel planes from 2023,” announces Charles Cabillic. Launched with private funds, Green Aerolease hopes to benefit from public participation to achieve this. Discussions have started in this direction with the Brittany Region and the Banque des Territoires.
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