Helijet orders BETA eVTOL for ‘first Canadian passenger service’
Canadian helicopter company Helijet has placed a firm order for ALIA aircraft with BETA Technologies in a bid to operate the country’s first eVTOL passenger and cargo services.
The company plans to integrate the aircraft into its existing network of helicopter services. The ALIA eVTOLs will provide “quieter, lower cost, sustainable air transportation for travellers in southwestern British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest”, it claimed. The aircraft’s vertical take-off and landing capability will boost Helijet’s provision of emergency response, air ambulance and organ transfer services in the lower mainland and support remote communities that do not have access to affordable and convenient air services, it added.
BETA Technologies’ ALIA eVTOL, configured for one pilot and five passengers, is currently in advanced flight standards development and working towards commercial regulatory certification in 2026. Shortly after, it will be available for private and commercial service, pledged Helijet.
The operator’s plan to become BETA’s first commercial customer in Canada was partly influenced by the developer’s intention to certify the aircraft for IFR (instrument flight rules) operations. Another factor was BETA’s interest in growing its industrial base in Canada, following the expansion of its research and development facility at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
Danny Sitnam, president and CEO, Helijet said the operator was proud to partner with BETA Technologies. “We are committed to introducing and integrating zero-emission, vertical lift technologies and related ground/building infrastructure in the communities we serve. And look forward to transforming our current heliport infrastructure to meet future urban air mobility vertiport standards,” he said.
Kyle Clark, BETA’s founder and CEO said ALIA was designed to be a reliable, efficient, and sustainable aircraft option that could carry out a range of missions in all types of geographies. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Helijet to bring this next-generation, net-zero technology to Canadian commuters and travellers,” said Clark. “Between our growing engineering hub in Montreal, our first cross-border flight to the region earlier this year, and the support we’ve received from the government and regulators across Canada, we look forward to continuing to grow our presence in the country. To be able to do that in partnership with the foremost operator in British Columbia is very exciting.”