A Gold Coast-based engineering firm has announced a partnership with a Canadian seaplane company to create what is through to be the world’s first all-electric airline.
The first flights are slated to begin in 2021, assuming all regulatory approvals are passed, the companies announced in a press release on Tuesday.
The Canadian company, known as Harbour Airlines, is taking the first step on its journey to zero emissions flight by converting a small 6-seater passenger plane, removing its kerosene engine in exchange for an electric motor and li-ion battery packs.
Harbour Air has inked a deal with MagniX – an Australian company that has offices on the Gold Coast and Seattle, which has developed an electric propulsion system – to transition its commercial fleet to electric.
The first aircraft to be converted will be the Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, which MagniX will equip with its magni500, a 750 horsepower (HP) all-electric motor.
“Harbour Air first demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by becoming the first fully carbon-neutral airline in North America in 2007, through the purchase of carbon offsets,” said Greg McDougall, founder and CEO of Harbour Air Seaplanes in a note.