The United Arab Emirates has just granted the United Parcel Service (UPS) a license to test new cargo aircraft provided by the eVTOL manufacturer BETA.

BETA recently announced its intentions to Focus on Electric Aircraft Certification, an effort which relies on prioritizing the development of its electric conventional takeoff and landing aircraft (eCTOL). When UPS starts deploying and testing BETA’s vehicles in the UAE, it will use the CTOL model, called the CX300, before introducing the Alia 250 eVTOL aircraft.

“We’re accelerating our journey to decarbonize the future of flight and these aircraft will help us get there,” said Laura Lane, UPS EVP & Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer. “As a company, we’ve made a commitment to 100% carbon neutrality by 2050. And we’ve set clear goals to get there such as sourcing 30% of aviation fuel from sustainable sources by 2035.”

The two partners are employing the CX300 and Alia 250’s groundbreaking whisper-quiet capability to take off and land directly on UPS property. eVTOLs are an ideal solution for:

  • Moving smaller package loads
  • Reducing aircraft emissions
  • Cutting time-in-transit
  • Saving on operating costs

“These incredible aircraft serve as a foundation for future solutions to reduce emissions in our air and ground operations,” said Bala Subramanian, UPS EVP & Chief Digital and Technology Officer. “With the support from the UAE government, we’re excited to focus on innovations that meet the needs of our business, our customers and the environment.”

The license was signed by H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority, Bala Subramanian, and Blain Newton, Chief Operating Officer at BETA, and is part of the UAE government’s vision for 2023 as the ‘Year of Sustainability.’

UPS has a longstanding reputation for pursuing electric vehicles solutions for its logistics services. In 2021, UPS Flight Forward announced plans to purchase eVTOL aircraft to augment our air service, but UPS has been investing in, researching and driving electric vehicles since the 1930s.

Why it’s important: UPS is committed to the electrification of its fleet and has already deployed EV solutions throughout North America, Europe and Asia. This license will further its global reach of carbon footprint minimization as UPS 40% alternative fuel in ground operations by 2025.

Posted by Naish Gaubatz