April 11, 2019 / 1:59 PM / 15 days ago

Norway's OSM Aviation orders 60 electric planes to cut training costs

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s OSM Aviation, a recruitment and training firm partly-owned by low-cost carrier Norwegian Air, has ordered 60 all-electric training planes from Colorado-based aircraft manufacturer Bye Aerospace to cut flight costs.

The cost of each two-seater aircraft is approximately $350,000 per plane, OSM Chief Executive Espen Hoeiby said on Thursday, with first deliveries planned for late 2021.

“It costs $110 per hour to operate a conventional trainer now. The electric planes will cost $20 per hour,” he told Reuters.

OSM currently has just over 20 planes for pilot training, mostly Cessna 172s, which it plans to phase out.

Pilots will receive the same training as before, and the same license that they currently get from flying conventional planes, said Hoeiby.

The order will help OSM expand to more countries, including to the United States, he added.

Last year Norway made headlines after it said it wanted to buy electric passenger planes to combat climate change, predicting such passenger flights by 2025 if new aviation technologies allow.

In October, EasyJet pushed back its forecast for flying electric planes to 2030.

Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, editing by Terje Solsvik and Kirsten Donovan

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