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Air New Zealand designates airports for first all-electric flights 

Air New Zealand has confirmed Wellington (WLG) and Marlborough (BHE) as the first two airports that will operate an all-electric service as part of the airline’s Mission Next Gen Aircraft program. 

This first all-electric route is just 50 miles (80 km) long, but it hops across the Strait of Cook, which separates New Zealand’s north and south islands, thus linking the country’s two main parts. 

Starting in 2026, this service will be cargo only, operated in collaboration with NZ Post, the country’s postal services provider. 

The aircraft selected to operate this service is the Beta Technologies ALIA. Although Vermont-based Beta Technologies is known for its work in the field of eVTOL development, the selected aircraft is the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) version of the ALIA. 

It is precisely to fulfill this mission that, in December 2023, Air New Zealand announced the purchase of an ALIA aircraft from Beta Technologies. 

In 2022, Air New Zealand launched Mission Next Gen Aircraft, a long-term project via which it plans to test, in real operational conditions, several clean propulsion technologies that can serve as a basis to decarbonize part of its fleet. 

Four electric, hybrid electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft, those being developed by Eviation, VoltAero, Cranfield Aerospace and Beta Technologies, were, next, selected to take part in the evaluation process. 

In addition to these, other companies involved in the development of sustainable aviation technologies, such as Airbus, ATR, Universal Hydrogen, Embraer and Heart Aerospace, are also partnering with this program. 

The post Air New Zealand designates airports for first all-electric flights  appeared first on AeroTime.

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