Widerøe (WF, Bodø) and Rolls-Royce have launched a research project to develop an electric flight concept that would allow the Norwegian carrier to start zero-emissions short-haul services by 2030. Widerøe said in a statement that the programme is part of its "ambition" to replace and electrify its fleet by 2030 and that the first phase of the two-year project, covering operational studies and concept development, is already underway.

“Rolls-Royce will use its in-depth electrical and systems design expertise to help advise on all elements of the project. The initial phase, which involves operational studies and concept proofing, is already underway, with expert teams in Norway and the UK working closely together on a daily basis,” the statement said.

In January, the state-owned airport operator Avinor laid out plans to turn all flights of up to 90 minutes entirely electric by 2040. Widerøe said its research was being supported both by the Norwegian government and the national development bank Innovation Norway, adding that its management "have been travelling the world to partner with suppliers that can build the zero-emission aircraft they need to replace their Dash 8 fleet".

Widerøe currently operates a fleet of twenty-two Dash 8-100s, three Dash 8-200s, seven Dash 8-300s, ten Dash 8-400s, and four E190-300s, according to ch-aviation fleets advanced.

Highlighting why he thinks Norway's short takeoff and landing (STOL) network of airports are the ideal testbed for the development of zero-emissions aircraft, Ola Elvestuen, Norway's climate and environment minister, has commented: “Our major short runway network of local flights in the coastal and northern parts of the country is ideal for electrification, and our abundant access to clean electricity means this is an opportunity we cannot miss. We are determined to show the world that this is possible, and many will be surprised at how fast it will happen.”