Helijet International Inc., North America’s largest and longest-standing helicopter airline, has announced plans to become the first Canadian air carrier to provide passenger and cargo services using electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft after placing firm orders for ALIA eVTOL aircraft from BETA Technologies.
Helijet President and CEO Danny Sitnam and BETA Sales Director Skye Carapetyan made the announcement with British Columbia Premier David Eby at Helijet’s Victoria Harbour Heliport.
Helijet will integrate the BETA-designed aircraft into its existing network of helicopter services, providing quieter, lower cost, sustainable air transportation for travelers in southwestern B.C. and the Pacific Northwest.
The electric aircraft’s vertical take-off and landing capability will also have tremendous potential to enhance Helijet’s provision of emergency response, air ambulance and organ transfer services in the Lower Mainland, as well as support rural and remote communities that do not have access to affordable and convenient air services.
Built by electric aerospace company BETA Technologies, the five-passenger + pilot configured ALIA eVTOL aircraft is currently in advanced flight standards development towards commercial regulatory certification in 2026 and will be available for private and commercial service shortly thereafter.
Helijet’s decision to become BETA’s first commercial customer order from Canada is due in part to BETA’s intention to certify the aircraft for IFR (instrument flight rules) operations, and its interest to consider growing its industrial base in Canada.
BETA has already begun to grow its presence across the country with an R&D facility based out of the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
“We are proud to partner with BETA Technologies, who are leaders in the advanced air mobility space,” said Sitnam.
“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.”
“This provincial government recognizes the potential of advanced air mobility to decarbonize the aviation sector, improve regional connectivity, improve emergency response times and introduce new manufacturing opportunities in our province,” said Premier Eby.
“We congratulate Helijet on their exciting news and look forward to British Columbia becoming a leader in the advanced air mobility sector.”