Air New Zealand has chosen the first demonstrator route for its all-electric Beta ALIA aircraft, which is made by a startup in Burlington, Vt., of all places. (This is the company that put the electric-plane charger in Manchester, as I wrote about recently.)

The carrier will use Wellington Airport as its home base for the ALIA, which it expects to receive starting late next year. It will initially fly cargo services with NZ Post from Wellington to Marlborough Airport on the other side of the Cook Strait.

The airline picked the ALIA from four contenders last year, selecting the battery-powered conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) version of the aircraft. Air New Zealand has a firm order for one ALIA, with options for an extra two and rights for a further 20. ALIA is capable of speeds up to 270km/h, has reached ranges of 480km in testing, and can be fully charged in 40 to 60 minutes. Air New Zealand plans to initially operate it on routes of around 150km, at altitudes of between 1,500 to 3,000 metres.

Story from Australian Aviation.

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