MONTE Partners With Cranfield Aerospace Solutions for Hydrogen-Powered Flight in Australia

By September 28, 2023 4   min read  (654 words)

September 28, 2023 |

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MONTE Aircraft Leasing Limited (MONTE) have announced a three-party agreement with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) and Australian air charter company Torres Strait Air to convert up to ten Britten-Norman Islander aircraft to hydrogen-electric power.

The deal, which comes shortly after Torres Strait Air signed a letter of intent for ten new conventional Britten-Norman Islander aircraft, will see MONTE, a pioneer in financing low emission and zero emission technologies in the sub-regional aviation market, provide financing to Torres Strait Air for the conversion of existing Britten-Norman Islanders, and CAeS integrate its hydrogen-electric propulsion system technology into the aircraft.

CAeS and MONTE’s partnership vision, dating back to November 2022 when MONTE signed an LOI to purchase 40 modification kits from CAeS, is to bring financing and leasing solutions to sub-regional operators to enable them to adopt zero-emissions aircraft operations.

The deal will enable Torres Strait Air, which currently operates a fleet of eleven aircraft from Horn Island, to serve the vital air transport needs of the Torres Strait community in a sustainable way with zero-emission flight.

Chief Strategy Officer at CAeS, Jenny Kavanagh says: “We’re delighted to be expanding into the Australian market with our world-leading hydrogen propulsion technology, working with MONTE to enable Torres Strait Air to bring zero emissions air services to their Islands.”

Chief Operating Officer at MONTE, Timothy Eyre says: “We are excited to support Torres Strait Air in the decarbonization of their fleet and look forward to working with our partners at Cranfield Aerospace Solutions on this exciting project. This agreement highlights MONTE’s commitment to supporting regional aviation operators globally with their sustainability goals’

Chief Executive Officer at Torres Strait Air, Daniel Takai says: “This partnership with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and MONTE Aircraft Leasing is the commencement of Torres Strait Air’s journey towards a more sustainable future for Torres Strait and its people. I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to working alongside our partners as the technology develops to achieve our goal of zero-carbon emissions in our aviation operations.”


MONTE is a leader in financing zero and low emission technologies in the regional aviation market. MONTE is exclusively focused on supporting the aviation industry’s transition to net zero carbon emissions by providing financing and leasing solutions for sustainable aviation to regional aircraft operators.

About Cranfield Aerospace Solutions

CAeS is a UK-based aviation pioneer which, via Project Fresson, is developing a world-leading hydrogen propulsion system for the Britten Norman Islander, with the aim to deliver the world’s first, zero-emissions, regulatory certified passenger aircraft solution by 2026. The company’s ultimate goal is to become an airframer of low and zero carbon sub-regional and regional aircraft and to play a critical role in the decarbonisation of the aviation industry.

CAeS was created out of Cranfield University and has been operating as a commercial entity at the cutting edge of aircraft development for over 30 years, having been trusted by global aerospace OEMs, including Rolls Royce, Airbus, Boeing as well as NASA to undertake complex R&D projects which have included aircraft design, modification and assembly.

 About Torres Strait Air

Torres Strait Air Pty Ltd (TSA) is a First Nation Torres Strait Islander Private Aviation Company operating a fixed-wing air charter operation for almost 10 years.

TSA operates throughout Torres Strait and the Northern Peninsular Area of Australia providing air transport to Government, Corporate & Private clients. Based on Horn Island, TSA has a fleet of aircraft consisting of 3 Piston Single Engine Cessna 206, 7 Piston Twin Engine Britten Norman Islander (BN2) & 1 Piston Twin Engine AC500 Shrike Aero-commander.

Recently TSA partnered with a pristine flying school in a Pilot Cadet Program and now produces its own pilots through this program.

Further TSA was involved in the construction of a Aircraft Maintenance Facility on Horn Island which will provide the maintenance support to the arriving new aircraft.



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