Swiss aircraft manufacturer Sirius will establish final assembly lines for its hydrogen vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft in India after signing a $400m deal with Indian seaplane operator Mehair for 50 Sirius Millenium Jets. 

The partnership, which also includes an option for 50 further jets, will cover the assembly of the jets in India, along with the associated 1,400 millennium hydrogen fan jets and the integration of the 50 hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, and 10 hydrogen generation units. 

Siddarth Verma, managing director of Mehair, said: “Joining forces with Sirius Jet marks a significant step for India’s aviation, promising passengers luxurious yet economical travel with zero emissions.” 

In addition to covering the assembly of the VTOL aircraft, the wide-ranging partnership between the companies will also support the certification process for Sirius Jet products in India, development of green-hydrogen infrastructure, and the design and operation of vertiports. 

Mehair’s partnership with Sirius continues an interest in hydrogen-powered aviation for the regional operator in India, following on from a pre-order for up to 20 hydrogen-electric engines from ZeroAvia with the aim of retrofitting Cessna Caravan aircraft. 

Alexey Popov, CEO of Sirius Aviation, said: “This strategic alliance with MEHAIR lays the foundation for a greener future in air travel; embodying a commitment to eco-friendly aviation and technological excellence.” 

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While hydrogen is currently only a small part of aviation’s sustainability efforts, due to its limited capabilities in powering larger aircraft, India has selected the fuel as a key growth sector to meet net zero ambitions, targeting production of 5 million metric tons of hydrogen per year by 2030. 

Sirius’s Millenium Jet is one of many hydrogen aircraft being developed, though boasting a range of around 1,150 miles, allegedly eight times bigger than “traditional” electric VTOL aircraft.

The company has said that it will debut its Sirius jet in two versions, the Millenium Jet and the Business Jet, by 2025.