Air New Zealand has today announced the ALIA as the airline’s first purchase of a next generation aircraft in its Mission Next Gen Aircraft programme.
Designed by electric aerospace company BETA Technologies, the battery-powered all-electric aircraft is expected to join Air New Zealand’s fleet in 2026.
Air New Zealand has a firm order for one aircraft with options for an additional two aircraft, and rights for a further 20 aircraft.
ALIA’s Origins and Features
Developed by BETA Technologies, a pioneering electric aerospace company, the ALIA is poised to revolutionize the way we perceive air travel.
As part of Air New Zealand’s commitment to a lower-emission future, the airline is making a bold move by purchasing the conventional take-off and landing version of the ALIA.
Air New Zealand’s CEO, Greg Foran, emphasizes the significance of this step, describing it as a “small but important” leap towards their larger goal.
The decision to incorporate the ALIA into their fleet stems from an extensive 18-month evaluation period, during which the airline sought ideas and insights from 30 organizations.
The collaboration resulted in the selection of four partners, with BETA Technologies leading the charge with the first commercial order.
Mission Next Gen Aircraft Programme
The announcement comes as a culmination of Air New Zealand’s Mission Next Gen Aircraft programme, demonstrating the airline’s commitment to soliciting ideas and insights from a diverse range of sources.
The programme aims to launch commercial flights using next-generation aircraft in 2026, with the ALIA taking center stage in this ambitious endeavor.
The initial phase of operation will see the ALIA serving as a cargo-only service, operating in partnership with New Zealand Post.
The selection of the route is underway through an expressions of interest (EOI) process involving airports across Aotearoa.
Air New Zealand’s CEO, Greg Foran, underlines the airline’s dedication to decarbonizing aviation in New Zealand.
He acknowledges the challenges ahead, stating, “Decarbonizing aviation isn’t easy, and we have a lot of work to do. We need to accelerate the pace of change in the technology, infrastructure, operations, and regulation.”
While the ALIA won’t replace the existing fleet, it serves as a catalyst for change. By integrating the ALIA into their operations, Air New Zealand aims to advance knowledge and facilitate the transformation needed in the aviation system.
The ultimate goal is to introduce larger, fleet-replacing, next-generation aircraft from 2030.
BETA Technologies’ Perspective
Kyle Clark, CEO of BETA Technologies, applauds Air New Zealand’s proactive approach to decarbonizing aviation.
He highlights the airline’s focus on scaling technologies rapidly to meet ambitious decarbonization targets and reshape the aviation landscape.
Clark notes, “We are gratified by the airline’s confidence in our technology as a solution that will meet their operational needs and look forward to continuing to work hand-in-hand as we bring the ALIA to market for 2026.”
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