One of Australia's largest helicopter operators, Nautilus Aviation, has entered a partnership with Embraer's Eve Urban Air Mobility solutions to develop electric vertical take-off and landing (e-VTOL) operations, the Brazilian manufacturer announced over the weekend.
As part of the deal Nautilus' parent company Morris Group has ordered 10 e-VTOLs for service in the tourism industry of northern Australia including over the Great Barrier Reef.
The aircraft are expected to start operations in 2026.
Morris Group founder and CEO Chris Morris said the deal with Eve was part of a program to have all the group's scenic flights over the reef coming from zero-emission electric aviation.
“This partnership is an exciting development for Nautilus Aviation and Morris Group," he said. "We believe economic success and environmental sustainability go hand-in-hand and aim to strengthen and enrich the environments in which we work. Eve’s eVTOL technology will integrate seamlessly into our operations to deliver a range of exciting zero-emission tourism experiences."
Andre Stein, President and CEO of Eve, said the initiative was an important milestone for the company.
“Our partnership with Nautilus Aviation and Morris Group will see Eve aircraft serving Australia's iconic tourism attractions with sustainable, zero emissions low-noise, journeys," he said.
"We share the same vision toward a carbon neutral future for air mobility and this a great use case for the solutions Eve is bringing to the market, including our 100% electric eVTOL and comprehensive customer support and air traffic management solutions."
Nautilus Aviation operates 36 helicopters on tourism, charter, HEMS and training flights from Darwin, Horn Island, Port Douglas, Cairns and Townsville.
Eve Urban Mobility is an independent company set up to accelerate global Urban Air Mobility (UAM) development, backed by Embraer’s aerospace expertise.