Charter provider Elit’Avia has added eight additional orders for Aura Aero's hybrid-electric regional airliner to its existing order for 20, boosting Aura's order book to more than 330 aircraft secured by letters of intent. The company is developing a series of two-seat training aircraft as well as the 19-seat ERA airliner at its Toulouse Francazal Airport headquarters.
The growing level of interest helps the French company stand out from the more than 300 developers of future-generation aircraft, according to Aura Aero CEO and chief engineer Jérémy Caussade. “You have a clear distinction between projects and companies,” he told AIN. “We already have more than 6,000 square meters of municipal facilities, production agreements, and certified environments. For me, [many projects are] a bubble and will remain so.”
“This is in line with our business model and development in reducing our gas emissions and carbon footprint,” said Elit’Avia CEO Michel Coulomb. “This is the direction we have decided to take and that's why we decided to go with another eight aircraft and 28 in total.” He added that the LOIs would turn into firm orders in the next two to three months.
Caussade said there are three main markets for the ERA. “The first one is the classical commuter model with 19 seats, the island hopper, or for point-to-point mobility,” he told AIN. “A second is the cargo version because of the 20-meter cubed cabin size, which is of interest in North America mainly. And then there is executive and business, which is what we're talking about today.
“It is for us to showcase the capabilities—we offer something that is new. It’s a positive way of saying that there is a match between decarbonization and doing business—because it makes sense. We have to work together to make it happen. This is the next step we are taking right now, and I'm very happy about that.”