By Chris Stonor
Avolon, the Irish international aircraft leasing company and Japan Airlines (JAL) announced this week a collaboration to commercialise eVTOLs in Japan, reports a press release. JAL has selected Vertical Aerospace’s VA-X4 from Avolon’s orderbook with entry into service planned for the Osaka Kansai Expo in 2025.
The partnership is to identify and target local partners and customers, infrastructure requirements, certification and a range of commercial models to introduce one of the world’s first eVTOL ride sharing businesses in Japan. Through this collaboration, JAL will have a right to purchase or lease up to 50 VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon, with the option to purchase or lease up to 50 additional units.
Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon CEO, commented, “We continue to identify partners who share the same vision to revolutionise air travel through zero-emissions eVTOL aircraft and shape the future of travel. The VA-X4 will be certified to CAA and EASA’s stringent safety regulations.”
He continued, “We believe JAL’s multi-decade experience will prove invaluable as Vertical seeks type certificate validation with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, demonstrating that the VA-X4 will be a global eVTOL, unconstrained by borders.”
Tomohiro Nishihata, Managing Executive Officer of Japan Airlines, remarked, “Today’s announcement represents an important step towards the social implementation of the air taxi at Osaka Kansai EXPO in 2025. Our partnership with Avolon, lays out the pathway towards achieving Air Mobility revolution in Japan.” Adding, “We look forward to collaborating closely with Avolon and Vertical on the roadmap to certification for the VA-X4 with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau.”
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