The largest helicopter airline in North America, Helijet International, has announced plans to introduce electric helicopters to its fleet of aircraft.
Helijet is based in Victoria, British Columbia and currently flies routes between Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
Today the company announced a partnership with Blade Urban Air Mobility to bring the first “Electric Vertical Aircarft (EVA) to the province.
“Helijet and Blade are partnering to ensure our combined leadership in the early adoption of EVA on existing routes in British Columbia, as well as the new services Blade may launch in the future. EVA technologies are going to change aviation in the same way that the jet engine revolutionized air travel 60 years ago. EVA will make urban air mobility more efficient, more sustainable, and more affordable.,” explained Danny Sitnam, President of Helijet.
It will still be a while until we see electric helicopters in the air above Vancouver and Victoria. The two companies will work together to develop the EVA and if all goes well, they hope to have them ready for commercial use within 5 to 10 years.
According to Sitnam, the EVAs will not replace their entire fleet, as the technology is not able to handle all situations their existing helicopters operate within (e.g., air ambulance).
While Helijet’s plans are for the future, another B.C. based aviation company plans to operate the first-ever passenger flight in an all-electric aircraft next year.
Harbour Air hopes to complete the work of electrifying one of their planes and start offering an all-electric flight option by end of 2022.