North American seaplane airline Harbour Air has partnered with magniX to transform its seaplanes into an all-electric commercial fleet powered by the magni500 750HP all-electric motor.

Harbour Air annually handles more than 500,000 passengers on 30,000 commercial flights through 12 routes between hubs such as Seattle and Vancouver and across the Pacific Northwest.

This partnership aims to offer clean, electric air travel.

Harbour Air Seaplanes founder and CEO Greg McDougall said: “Harbour Air first demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by becoming the first fully carbon-neutral airline in North America in 2007, through the purchase of carbon offsets.

“Through our commitment to making a positive impact on people’s lives, the communities where we operate and the environment, we are once again pushing the boundaries of aviation by becoming the first commercial aircraft to be powered by electric propulsion. We are excited to bring commercial electric aviation to the Pacific Northwest, turning our seaplanes into ePlanes.”

“This partnership will set the standard for the future of commercial aviation operators.”

Out of all carbon emissions in the US, the aviation industry currently contributes 12% and 4.9% across the world, whilst offering several low-cost, fuel-efficient options for passenger flights less than 1,000 miles.

The transformation of the Harbour Air planes into all-electric magniX propulsion systems will lead to the creation of the ‘world’s first completely electric commercial seaplane fleet’.

A Harbour Air ePlane will produce zero emissions and absolutely no dependency on fossil fuels.

magniX CEO Roei Ganzarski said: “In 2018, 75% of worldwide airline flights were 1,000 miles or less in range. With magniX’s new propulsion systems coupled with emerging battery capabilities, we see tremendous potential for electric aviation to transform this heavily trafficked ‘middle-mile’ range.

“We’re excited to partner with Harbour Air, a forward-thinking, like-minded company that is dedicated to bringing environmentally conscious, cost-effective air-transport solutions to the West Coast of North America. This partnership will set the standard for the future of commercial aviation operators.”

The first airplane to be transformed will be the DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver, a six-passenger commercial aircraft.

The two companies plan to undertake first flight tests of the all-electric airplane late this year.

In April 2018, Harbour Air launched a new seaplane service between downtown Vancouver and downtown Seattle.

This service was launched in a joint venture with Seattle-based Kenmore Air. The one-hour route had become Harbour Air’s first international scheduled service, offering two daily round-trip flights, five days a week.