LCI, a subsidiary of the Libra Group, signed an agreement to acquire up to 125 electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft being developed by BETA Technologies. LCI is a helicopter and commercial aircraft company with offices in Dublin, London and Singapore, while Libra Group owns and operate assets in more than 50 countries.
LCI states its commitment for BETA’s ALIA-250 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft will enable the company to support operations across the globe. Under the terms of the deposit-backed agreement, LCI will initially acquire 50 aircraft with an option for a total of up to 125. The eVTOL aircraft are currently under development at BETA’s facility in Burlington, Vermont.
ALIA is designed for a maximum range of 250 nautical miles with the ability to carry five passengers and a pilot, or 1,400 lbs (635 kgs) of payload. The aircraft will provide sustainable solutions for a wide range of applications including cargo, medical and passenger with true point-to-point operations.
Key advantages of ALIA, according to BETA, include the ability to recharge in under an hour, a net-zero emissions profile, and low maintenance requirements. BETA is also developing charging infrastructure to support the electric aircraft, as well as electric ground vehicles.
“We are embracing this new era of sustainable flight and BETA Technologies’ innovative approach makes them a natural and credible partner for LCI,” said Jaspal Jandu, CEO of LCI. “We believe that the aircraft’s blend of rechargeable battery power, significant internal capacity, and plentiful range is an optimal one. We are confident it will be a popular choice for operators and end-users seeking to develop and augment their fleets with this truly sustainable technology.”
The new eVTOL aircraft will complement LCI’s existing fleet of modern helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, and almost double the number of aircraft on its aviation platform to over 270 units.