Connect Airlines will soon be offering regional flights in North America. But the new airline has much more in mind and is ordering 75 ATR 72s, which will be converted into hydrogen aircraft.
Waltzing Matilda Aviation was previously active in the charter market. The airline from Boston flew wealthy customers across America with its Cessna Citation business jets. But a year ago, she announced that she would be expanding into liner business with a new subsidiary.
With two De Havilland Canada Dash 8, the new airline will first fly to Chicago O’Hare and Philadelphia from Toronto’s Billy Bishop airport. The start is planned for July 2022 – under the name Connect Airlines. But the plans are already going much further. Waltzing Matilda Aviation recently announced the purchase of no fewer than 75 ATR 72-600s for its new subsidiary – plus an option for 25 more.
Icelandair and Air Nostrum also rely on technology
However, these are not new aircraft. They are ATR 72s that are being converted by Universal Hydrogen into ATR 72s that can run on hydrogen from capsules. The first examples are to be delivered to Connect Airlines as early as 2025. Icelandair, Air Nostrum and Ravn Alaska also rely on Universal Hydrogen technology.
“We are committed to becoming the world’s first truly zero-emissions airline, and the only way to achieve that in the near future is through the use of hydrogen,” says Connect Airlines’ CEO John Thomas. He was once the head of Virgin Australia.