Long-time Shell Executive Andy Brown and former Flybe CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener have been named as the two latest additions to ZeroAvia’s Advisory Board, helping guide the company’s efforts to zero emission flight.
The hydrogen-focused powertrain developer today announced that Brown has invested in the company as a seed investor and will act as an infrastructure advisor to the business, while Ourmières-Widener will join as an airline market advisor.
The addition of Brown and Ourmières-Widener as advisors follows hot on the heels of a significant leap forward in the company’s programme with the UK’s first ever commercial-scale electric flight, featuring the largest zero emission aircraft currently flying in Europe.
Read more: ZeroAvia celebrates milestone
Val Miftakhov, CEO of ZeroAvia, commented, “While we make enormous strides in R&D that bring zero emission aviation ever closer to commercial reality, it’s crucial we have the best possible thinking guiding our commercial strategy.”
“Andy and Christine are seasoned industry executives with the right energy and aviation industry experience that can help ZeroAvia as we build a model for zero emission flight, powered by green hydrogen.”
Brown left Royal Dutch Shell last September after thirty-five years with the company in a variety of key roles. Most recently he led Shell’s upstream division for four years, where he was credited with transforming the entire unit’s operations. In 1999, Andy worked with the leadership team to set up Shell Hydrogen and has long believed in hydrogen’s crucial role.
“The role that hydrogen will need to play in the energy transition is rightly gathering more and more attention. I firmly believe that aviation is the sector where real momentum can be created precisely because hydrogen is clearly the best, most practical solution for decarbonisation,” said Brown.
Similarly, Ourmières-Widener left Flybe in July 2019, following the sale of the airline. She has extensive international experience across the aviation, travel and technology sectors. Before leading Flybe, she was Chief Global Sales Officer for American Express Global Business Travel and has spent 25 plus years at Air France, with several senior roles.
“The aviation industry needs innovation now to both reduce carbon emissions and operating costs. ZeroAvia’s approach offers the industry an opportunity to start this journey in a meaningful way – not in ten years, but in three,” Ourmières-Widener said.