Pipistrel Aircraft has announced a partnership with Green Aerolease to help accelerate the transition of electric aviation in France and other countries across Europe, which will start with an order for 50 of Pipistrel’s Velis Electro aircraft.

The Slovenian manufacturer is currently the only company in the world to obtain certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its electric aircraft. Working with the French Federation of Aeronautics, the 50 aircraft will be offered for rent to pilot schools and clubs to ensure the new generation of pilot training.

Ivo Boscarol, Founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft, said: “I am delighted to see the confidence given to us by Green Aerolease who decided to commit with us to participate in the reduction of the environmental impact of the aeronautical sector.

“The European certification of our Velis Electro, designed for initial training of pilots, is an important step towards the development of a carbon neutral-fleet of aircraft, respectful of the environment. This partnership will allow the use of zero-emission aircraft to the clubs and schools who are not in the position to invest in procuring an aircraft fleet, but they can afford reasonable monthly rental fees.”

In Europe, there are more than 100 small airports which have severe flight restrictions, or the training there is not allowed because of noise. Pipistrel’s Velis Electro emits only 60 dB of noise and the expected deployment of the 50 aircraft, starting in France, is expected to be rolled out later this year.

Within the next three years, 200 of Pipistrel’s electric aircraft are to be deployed in France and to other countries in the coming years through AAS (Aircraft as A Service). Finesse Max, Pipistrel’s distributor in France, will work with Green Aerolease to manage the support, after-sales service and maintenance network in order to keep the highest availability for the Velis fleet.

Green Aerolease is a subsidiary of the W3 group which organises the provision of decarbonised light aircraft by proposing a ‘ready for use’ rental service to aeronautical operators, such as aero clubs and piloting schools. The W3 group was founded in 2009 by Charles Cabillic, which acts essentially in the digital field, investment field and air mobility. 

Cabillic, Founder of W3 and Green Aerolease, said: “We are particularly proud to make this partnership with Pipistrel Aircraft, pioneer of breakthrough innovation in the light aviation sector.

“I am convinced that the aeronautical sector has a great future, with the progressive arrival within two to three years, of light electric or hybrid aircraft designed for business travel or leisure aviation, because it will permit to revive the French aviation.

These future aircraft are, indeed, an answer to the growing stakes of regional mobility to ensure the economical regional continuity and the serving of middle-sized cities.”

Jean-Luc Charron, President of the French Federation of Aeronautics, added: “The French Federation of Aeronautics has always supported innovation. With Pipistrel, we created a FabLab two years ago at Toussus-Le-Noble to test this brand-new electric aircraft.

“Thus, more than 200 flight hours were done with great performances, very important noise reduction and also a tremendous reduction of carbon emissions. After the experimentation, it is now time to deploy the aircraft fleet, and I am very proud to support this project which will allow clubs to create a new dynamic in this aeronautical world which is living an unprecedented transformation.”