Air New Zealand selects BETA’s Alia as launch Next Gen aircraft
Air New Zealand is buying BETA Technologies’ conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) Alia as the carrier’s first purchase of a next generation aircraft.
The Alia will join the airline’s Mission Next Gen programme, with Air New Zealand aiming to be able to operate the aircraft as a commercial demonstrator in 2026. The announcement follows an 18-month period of evaluation by Air New Zealand. Through the airline’s Mission Next Gen Aircraft programme, it sought and received ideas and insights from 30 organisations, selecting four partners.
BETA’s ALIA is the first commercial order in the programme. Air New Zealand will initially operate the aircraft as a cargo only service in partnership with New Zealand Post, on a route being selected with airports across Aotearoa.
Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said: “This is a small but important step in a much larger journey for the airline. 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.”
Foran explained the aircraft will add to, not replace the existing fleet, but it will act a catalyst for change. “By flying the Alia, we hope to advance our knowledge and the transformation needed in the aviation system in Aotearoa for us to fly larger, fleet replacing, next generation aircraft from 2030,” he added.
BETA CEO Kyle Clark said: “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 Air New Zealand’s 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 their operational needs and look forward to continuing to work hand-in-hand as we bring the ALIA to market for 2026,” he added.