The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Sydney Seaplanes Plans eVTOL Tourist Flights with Eve Urban Air Mobility Deal

Sydney Seaplanes has agreed to add 50 of Eve Urban Air Mobility’s four-passenger eVTOL aircraft to its fleet from 2026. The provisional order, announced on December 6, is the second commitment from a prospective Australian operator in two days, after Queensland-based helicopter operator Nautilus Aviation said it would take 10 of the all-electric aircraft.

Like Nautilus, Sydney Seaplanes plans to use the eVTOLs for tourist flights from Sydney Harbour as part of its wider plan to establish all-electric, zero-emissions scheduled flights. In 2020, it announced plans to set up a new regional airline from 2022 with all-electric flights using converted Cessna Caravans.

“Eve’s eVTOL technology will integrate seamlessly with our electric amphibious fleet to deliver a range of tourism and commuter journeys,” said Sydney Seaplanes CEO Aaron Shaw. “Subject to community consultation, we expect some flights will operate from our iconic Rose Bay aviation terminal in Sydney Harbour. This service will have a widespread appeal which will allow us to open new routes beyond the harbor and throughout the greater Sydney region.”

Eve’s eVTOL is expected to be able to operate on routes of up to around 60 miles and complete type certification in 2026. The company is a subsidiary of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer.

Last December, Sydney Seaplanes and Dante Aeronautical signed an agreement with U.S.-based electric propulsion specialist MagniX to secure a supplemental type certificate to convert Cessna Caravans to all-electric power. U.S.-based MagniX is aiming to achieve FAA certification in 2022.

Since launching operations in 2005, Sydney Seaplanes has flown some 425,000 passengers on more than 80,000 flights. On Dec. 31, 2017, one of its DHC-2 Beaver amphibious aircraft crashed near Sydney, killing the pilot and five passengers on board. An Australian Transportation Safety Bureau accident investigation found that the pilot had suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning that adversely affected his performance. The company has not said whether it intends to replace its existing aircraft with the new eVTOL models.