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Air New Zealand ticks Beta Alia as debut Mission Next Gen launch aircraft
Air New Zealand's purchase of one Beta Alia CTOL meets the airline's goal of flying a commercial demonstrator by 2026. It will be operated in the cargo sector over routes of around 150kms.
Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran and Beta Technologies CEO Kyle Clark.

The first purchase of a next generation aircraft by Air New Zealand in its Mission Next Gen Aircraft programme is the Beta Alia.

The conventional take off and landing version of the battery-powered all-electric aircraft is expected to join the fleet in 2026.

Through the airline's Mission Next Gen Aircraft programme, it sought and received ideas and insights from 30 organisations over a period of 18 months, selecting four partners to work closely with on its goal of launching commercial flights using next generation aircraft. Beta's Alia is the first commercial order in the programme, the other partners are Eviation, VoltAero and Cranfield Aerospace.

Air New Zealand has a firm order for one aircraft with options for an additional two aircraft, and rights for a further 20 aircraft. It will initially operate the aircraft as a cargo only service in partnership with New Zealand Post, on a route being selected through an expressions of interest process with airports across the country.

Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran says: "This is a small but important step in a much larger journey for Air New Zealand. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but we are incredibly committed and this purchase marks a new chapter for the airline. Decarbonising 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 this aircraft will add to, not replace our existing fleet, it is a catalyst for that change. By flying the Alia, we hope to advance our knowledge and the transformation needed in the aviation system in Aotearoa [New Zealand] for us to fly larger, fleet replacing, next generation aircraft from 2030."

Beta CEO Kyle Clark adds: "Air New Zealand is hyper-focused on bringing technologies to scale as quickly as possible, both to meet its own ambitions to decarbonise and to change the broader aviation landscape. Over the past year plus of partnership, collaboration and diligence, we've seen its forward-thinking, yet pragmatic and methodical approach to innovation. We are gratified by the airline's confidence in our technology as a solution that will meet its operational needs and look forward to continuing to work hand-in-hand as we bring the Alia to market."

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