UAE approves first electric cargo plane

Photo: petrmalinak/ Shutterstock

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has approved a temporary licence for the first all-electric, zero-emissions cargo plane in the region. 

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, said in a Twitter post: “In the Council of Ministers, we approved the temporary license for the first cargo plane in the region that operates entirely on clean electric energy and without any emissions, an important step that may contribute to changing the future of the shipping sector and its environmental impacts.”

Alongside investments in Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), the air cargo industry is busy investing in electric aircraft for logistics on a smaller scale, especially for last-mile delivery initiatives.

In April, UPS said that through its UPS Flight Forward subsidiary it would purchase up to 150 electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Beta Technologies.

While in July, Bristow Group signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Elroy Air to pre-order 100 Chaparral hybrid-electric cargo VTOL aircraft.

In August last year, DHL Express ordered 12 electric freighter aircraft as it looks to create an electric express network.

A webinar held by Air Cargo News‘ sister title FlightGlobal earlier this year found that cost is the single biggest challenge for adoption of hydrogen and electric technology in both passenger and cargo aircraft.

UPS to purchase up to 150 electric cargo aircraft

Bristow Group orders Elroy Air VTOL aircraft

Cost is the biggest hurdle for hydrogen and electric aircraft

DHL Express makes historic investment in all-electric freighters

SAF remains air cargo’s future fuel focus

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]