President and Prime Minister of Iceland on first passenger flight of an electric aeroplane

Pipistrel Velis Electro © Andrejcheck on Wikimedia Commons

This week, Icelandair participated in a significant event in Icelandic aviation history when the President of Iceland and the Prime Minister were the first passengers to fly in a 100% electric aeroplane. These are the first steps in an important journey towards more environmentally friendly aviation. The opportunities for Iceland are great due to short domestic flight routes, access to green energy and Iceland’s location between Europe and North America.

The first electric aeroplane in Iceland, bearing the appropriate registration TF-KWH is a two-seater Pipistrel, manufactured in Slovenia. It is of similar size to the planes that the flight academies use for flight training.

Cooperation is the key to successful energy exchange

The company Rafmagnsflug ehf. (Electric Flight) brought the first electric plane to Iceland with the aim of taking an initiative towards the energy exchange of aviation, training staff in this new technology and introducing it to the nation. Rafmagnsflug ehf. was originally founded by Matthías Sveinbjörnsson and Friðrik Pálsson at the end of 2021, but they have been working for the past three years to get the first electric plane to Iceland. Behind Rafmagnsflug ehf. are companies and individuals who want to contribute to speeding up the energy exchange in aviation and introduce the latest technological innovations.

Cooperation between stakeholders is a key factor when it comes to energy exchange, and it is therefore important that the largest sponsors are from aviation, airport operations, energy production and tourism; Icelandair, Isavia, Landsvirkjun and Hotel Rangá. Other sponsors are Landsbankinn, Geirfugl ATO, The Reykjavik Flight Academy, and the Iceland Aviation Academy, together with Matthías, Friðrik and Herjólfur Guðbjartsson.

The aeroplane will be used for flight training, but it is also expected that the public will be able to purchase sightseeing flights with this first electric plane in Iceland and experience travelling the skies on a Zero-Emission plane.

Icelandair’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050

Icelandair has set ambitious new goals to reduce carbon emissions:

  • In line with the airline industry’s goals, we have made a commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
  • In addition, we have set a medium-term target to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% per operational ton kilometre (OTK) by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. This is a measurement of carbon emissions relative to carried passengers and cargo loads.

Leave a Comment