World's first air taxi coming to NZ

By Jessica Tyson
Air taxi service coming to Aotearoa - Image / Air NZ

Air New Zealand has signed an agreement with American-based company Zephyr Airworks to bring the world's first air taxi service to Aotearoa.

The aircraft, named Cora, is 100% electric and therefore emissions-free, says VP Engineer Eric Allison.

“Like a helicopter, Cora takes off and lands vertically so it doesn’t need a runway airport. Unlike a helicopter, Cora is remarkably quiet and can fly faster than 150km an hour and has a range of 100km.”

The aircraft is also self-piloted which means passengers won’t need a pilot’s licence to fly it.

Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon says New Zealand is the perfect place to try the new aircraft.

“We’re excited for electrification of aircraft for two reasons. One is New Zealand has 90% renewable electricity which is really special and very unique in the world,” he told Te Kāea.

“Secondarily we have a really developed aerospace system that is a really great model for other developed economies of the world.”

Luxin says the agreement between the national carrier and the California-based company signals a long-term relationship to make electric air travel a reality for all New Zealanders.