Electric flights between Liège, Maastricht and Aachen this summer

Electric flights will be offered between the airports of Liège, Maastricht and Aachen this summer. They will be the first international electric flights in Europe open to the general public.

The flights between the Belgian, Dutch and German cities, which are less than 40km apart, will be operated by a two-seater aircraft. The aircraft, built by Slovenian manufacturer Pipistret, can accommodate one pilot and one passenger. 

The service is part of the Electrifly project and is "a first step towards electrifying part of the aircraft fleet", said Wouter Dewulf, an aviation economist at the University of Antwerp.

"Electric flights are still a rarity at the moment," he said. "So far, these planes have been used mainly for training purposes, mainly in Liège and Antwerp. The planes can stay in the air for about 50 minutes."

The number of seats and range of electric flights are currently limited, mainly because of the heavy lithium-ion batteries. According to Dewulf, electric aviation could take off in the next 10 to 15 years, following in the footsteps of the electric car. 

A project by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands aims to produce an electric aircraft with a 90-seat capacity and a range of 500 to 600km within 10 years. 


The Pipistrel Velis Electro plane, a light two-seater single-engine electric aircraft, taking off from Nice airport in France in 2021 © PHOTO VALERY HACHE / AFP

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