LCI orders 50 Alia eVTOLs from Beta
LCI has ordered 50 Alia 250s from eVTOL manufacturer Beta Technologies with an option for up to 125. The leasing company has paid a deposit.
Beta is one of the most developed electric vertical aircraft manufacturers. It has raised $886m in funding – closing a series B round this month with Fidelity Management and TPG Rise Climate Fund. It is also part of the US Air Force’s Agility Prime programme that aims to accelerate development of eVTOLs. In March two US Air Force pilots test-flew a Beta Alia 250.
“Today’s announcement is a landmark moment for LCI and the Libra Group. Investing in the sustainable future of aviation is an integral part of LCI’s long term strategy, and we’ve been closely watching the growing eVTOL arena for the development of a ground-breaking aircraft,” Jaspal Jandu, CEO of LCI, told Helicopter Investor.
The Beta Alia 250 (pictured) is designed to carry up to 1,400lbs (635kg) of cargo or five passengers up to 250 nautical miles. Other customers include United Therapeutics, which plans to use it to transport organs; UPS which ordered 10 with options for another 140; and Blade Urban Air Mobility which has agreed to buy or lease up to 20.
“With its combination of vertical lift, quick rechargeability, capacity, range and charging network, we’re confident that the Alia 250 will be a leader in this new and dynamic field,” said Jandu. “The aircraft’s simplicity and multitude of potential applications will help ensure it retains its value over time, and we’re excited to see it flying in the skies.”
LCI started as a commercial aircraft lessor and expanded into helicopter leasing with a $400m Leonardo order in 2012. This is LCI’s first electric aircraft order.
“As a leading aircraft lessor with an established global track record, LCI has a strong pulse on what operators are looking for,” said Kyle Clark, founder and CEO, BETA. “We are gratified by their confidence that the solutions we’re building will answer the need for next generation, zero-emission electric aircraft. We are excited to partner with LCI and push adoption of this solution forward within the industry.”
LCI’s parent company, the Libra Group, also plans to support BETA.
“As a global holding company, Libra Group and its subsidiaries are committed to advancing a clean energy future. Through this agreement, LCI will bring carbon-free transportation to customers around the world,” said George Logothetis, chairman and CEO of the Libra Group. “Today’s announcement by LCI is the tip of the spear in the innovation pivot of Libra Group and thus our entire organisation.”
Also read: Kyle Clark on launching Beta