EasyJet 'moving fast' towards developing electric planes

The airline's Chief Executive says electric planes could become a reality by 2027. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Luton-based airline easyJet is "moving fast" in developing electric planes, according to its boss.

Chief Executive Johan Lundgren claimed electric flying is "becoming a reality" and says he can foresee a future that is "not exclusively dependent on jet fuel".

The carrier is in a partnership with US-based manufacturer Wright Electric to build battery-propelled aircraft for flights of less than two hours by 2027.

Wright Electric has applied for a patent on a motor for an electric airliner. It already has a two-seater electric plane and plans to begin flying a nine-seater next year.

EasyJet believes the progress means an all-electric commercial passenger jet capable of flying passengers across its European network is "in sight".

London to Amsterdam has a strong demand for day return trips and could be "an ideal route" for the technology to be used.

The airline is hoping short-haul flights could soon be carried out by electric planes. Credit: PA

Wright Electric predicts electric planes will be up to 50% quieter and 10% cheaper for airlines to buy and operate, compared with traditional aircraft.

The company is focused on improving batteries and making the aircraft frame as efficient as possible for use with electric motors.

Conventional short-haul aircraft have one large jet engine underneath each wing, but electric planes would have several smaller motors.

Its chief executive Jeffrey Engler said: "We are excited about what the next year holds. EasyJet has been a fantastic partner and we look forward to helping introduce low-emissions, low-noise aviation, to Europe."