Northern Territory Air Services (Alice Springs) (NTAS) has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for 20 all-electric Alice commuter aircraft currently under development by Israeli-US manufacturer Eviation (Arlington, WA). No delivery date has been disclosed.

Based in Alice Springs, NTAS hopes the Eviation Alice will enable it to provide sustainable point-to-point air transport in the Northern Territory of the Australian Outback. It provides connections for passengers arriving on major airlines at Alice Springs, Uluru/Ayers Rock and Mount Isa, specialising in scheduled and charter services for business groups, private and tourist travel, and air cargo. The company has prioritised adopting carbon-free and sustainable technologies and is working with various stakeholders to support the introduction of all-electric flights.

"Australia is recognised around the world for its breathtaking scenery, and adopting carbon-free technologies is fundamental to preserving the environment for future generations," NTAS Chief Executive Officer Ian Scheyer explained in a statement. "Eviation's all-electric Alice aircraft allows us to chart a sustainable path forward in connecting communities across the country. With the adoption of electric aviation, we will be able to provide cost-effective and convenient passenger and cargo flights across the Outback."

Electric aviation has the potential to transform the way people and goods move throughout Australia, connecting unserved communities sustainably and affordably, according to Eddie Jaisaree, Vice President, Commercial Sales at Eviation.

The Eviation Alice prototype made its maiden flight at Moses Lake, Washington, on September 27, 2022. It can carry nine passengers, or 1,179kgs of load, in a cargo configuration. It is built 95% from composite material, is powered by two electric motors, and has a T-tail. It produces zero carbon emissions and costs a fraction to operate per flight hour compared to light jets or high-end turboprops. Alice will typically operate flights ranging from 241km to 402km.

Earlier this month, the company announced that its order book for 300 Eviation Alice aircraft surpassed USD2 billion. Eviation is now focused on the certification programme on the way to completing Entry into Service (EIS). Customers for the Alice so far include US regional airlines Cape Air (9K, Hyannis) and GlobalX (G6, Miami International), which have ordered 75 and 50 units, respectively; German startup Evia Aero (Bremen Hans Koschnick); while Deutsche Post has ordered a dozen for use by DHL Express.