Fully electric seaglider completes its first test flight

Aotearoa is another step closer to enjoying zero-emission journeys with a fully electric transportation system between coastal cities on its way.

Kiwi organisation and first seaglider-only company Ocean Flyer's all-electric seaglider prototype has successfully completed its maiden flight in what will be a game changer for emission reduction.

"The Government's ambition for New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2050 is going to be hard to achieve," Ocean Flyer CEO Shah Aslam said.

"We need bold solutions. Electric cars and cycleways alone are not the solution to solving the climate crisis. Seagliders are perfect for our island nation and will help make our transition to carbon neutrality a reality."

The seagliders are described as electric flying ferries with a speed similar to that of an aircraft, but an operating coast similar to a boat.

Ocean Flyer will start operating fully electric seagliders in New Zealand from 2025 to travel routes such as Wellington-Christchurch in one hour from $60 per seat, or between Auckland and Whangarei on 30-minute one-way trips from $30 per seat.

The $700 million agreement with REGENT is for 15 Viceroys, which can hold up to 12 passengers each, along with 10 Monarchs, which can hold up to 100 passengers each. 

Today, Ocean Flyer announced US aerospace manufacturer REGENT has successfully flown its prototype seaglider.

The key step in the development of seagliders has Ocean Flyer excited. 

"Seagliders are the future of inter-regional transport in Aotearoa New Zealand," Aslam said.

"Today, we use the knowledge of history to shape the future. It's an exciting journey to be on and we are thrilled that REGENT has hit this pivotal milestone, bringing us another step closer to enjoying zero-emission journeys."

Aslam said they will continue to work with the Government, councils, stakeholders, and investors to deliver the fully-electric transport option for all Kiwis across the motu.