flybig (FLG, Indore) has signed an agreement with UK-based MONTE Aircraft Leasing Limited for financing and leasing solutions for converting its fleet to zero-emission propulsion technologies.

In addition, MONTE will lease two DHC-6-400s to flybig to be deployed on India's government-subsidised UDAN regional connectivity scheme routes in the northern Indian states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, the parties announced in a statement.

The regional specialist earlier this year signed a letter of intent with De Havilland Aircraft of Canada (DHC, Toronto Downsview) for five firm orders of DHC-6-400s with options for five more for use on its thinnest routes operated under the UDAN scheme. It was also reportedly expanding its ATR fleet to ten undisclosed units by March 2023.

Zero-emission propulsion technologies to be explored with MONTE include electric, hybrid, and hydrogen propulsion. "MONTE will not only assist flybig to identify the most suitable zero-emission propulsion technology for their operations but will also offer financing for the conversion of its fleet once this technology is approved and certified," explained MONTE Investment Director Timothy Eyre. The company is focused on supporting the aviation industry's transition to net zero carbon emissions by providing financing and leasing solutions for low and zero-emission technologies to regional aircraft operators. It aims to become the first carbon-neutral aircraft leasing company by 2027.

flybig Chief Executive Officer Saanjay Mandavia said the agreement was part of the airline's recently launched "#GoGreen" initiative to reduce its carbon footprint. "This initiative will not only revolutionise air travel in India but also reduce the cost of flying with flybig," he added.

From its main hub at Guwahati, flybig operates point-to-point services on 13 routes to eight cities in India with a fleet of three ATR - Avions de Transport Régional aircraft: One ATR72-500 leased from Avation and two ATR72-600s leased from DAE Capital, according to the ch-aviation fleets module. Destinations include Tezu, Pasighat, Rupsi, Agartala, Dibrugarh, Kolkata, Patna, and Imphal.