Home Uncategorized Air New Zealand Targets Operation of Electric Aircraft by 2026.

Air New Zealand Targets Operation of Electric Aircraft by 2026.

The national carrier announced its purchase of an electric ALIA aircraft from Beta Technologies.

by Jamsheera
New Zealand first electric flight

Wellington: Air New Zealand Aims to Pioneer Electric Aviation with the Introduction of Battery-Powered Aircraft in 2026.

The national carrier has secured an order for an electric ALIA aircraft from Beta Technologies, a US-based aerospace manufacturer. This innovative addition is slated to join Air New Zealand’s fleet initially as a cargo-exclusive service, transporting packages and letters on domestic routes through a collaboration with New Zealand Post.

“We aspire to be the inaugural airline to operate a commercially viable next-generation aircraft,” stated Kiri Hannifin, Chief Sustainability Officer of Air New Zealand, in an interview with AFP.

She further mentioned that Air New Zealand, the national carrier of New Zealand, has not specified a date for the commencement of passenger flights using battery-powered planes.

In a similar vein, Scandinavian Airlines revealed its intentions in May of the previous year to commence passenger services on its first commercial electric flights by 2028.

In a statement, Air New Zealand highlighted that the battery-powered ALIA aircraft boasts a quick recharge time of approximately one hour. Moreover, it is designed to execute takeoffs and landings in a manner akin to traditional aircraft.

Similar to electric cars, the crucial factor for the plane is the distance it can travel.

Measuring approximately 12 meters in length and weighing three tonnes, the ALIA aircraft has successfully covered distances of 480 kilometers (298 miles) in a single test flight, according to the airline. It boasts a top speed of 270 kilometers per hour and can operate at altitudes of up to 3,000 meters.

Initially, once certified for safe flight, the electric plane will be deployed on routes covering around 150 kilometers. Air New Zealand has placed an order for one electric plane with the option to purchase nearly two dozen more.

CEO Greg Foran asserts that the acquisition aligns with the airline’s dedication to operating aircraft in New Zealand with reduced emissions.

“Next-generation aircraft have the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions in our regional operations,” stated Foran during a press briefing in Auckland. “This purchase signifies a pivotal moment for the airline.”

He envisions that operating the ALIA will contribute to “advancing our understanding,” enabling Air New Zealand to operate larger next-generation aircraft starting in 2030.

The airline anticipates announcing the potential airports that could serve as the base for the ALIA in early 2024.

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