By Chris Stonor
Electra.aero has signed agreements with Flapper, the largest on-demand private aviation platform in Latin America, and Skyportz, Australia’s advanced air mobility (AAM) infrastructure developer, reports businessairnews.com. Combined, these partnerships offer Electra an inside track on the design, operation, ground support and marketing of its aircraft.
At present, the company has secured purchase commitments for 180 of its hybrid-electric ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft, totalling more than USD500 million in value.
The deals are part of cooperative agreements with air service providers and infrastructure developers in multiple countries and reflect global demand for low emissions transportation as countries strive to meet carbon reduction targets. Flapper is keen to introduce the eSTOL in Brazil, where sustainability is on the agenda.
Meanwhile, businessairnews.com writes, “Skyportz is developing a comprehensive infrastructure network in Australia to attract and support future urban and regional air mobility services. Electra and Skyportz will be preferred partners under an MOU that includes a purchase agreement for up to 100 Electra eSTOL aircraft, enabling Skyportz and its operating partners to directly connect city centres or dispersed logistics facilities and deliver cargo to remote regions.”
The article adds, “The companies are exploring opportunities in Australia for early trials leveraging Electra’s full-scale technology demonstrator, which enters flight testing in the US in 2022.”
John S. Langford
John S. Langford, founder and CEO of Electra.aero, explained, “Australia exemplifies the type of market that will greatly benefit from Electra’s eSTOL aircraft, with our greater payload capabilities, lower emissions, longer range and reduced operating costs.”
He continued, “Electra is excited to collaborate with Skyportz, in anticipation of our eSTOL aircraft flying missions in Australia ranging from on-demand intracity passenger flights to medical transport, cargo logistics, remote area missions and more.”
Clem Newton-Brown, founder and CEO of Skyportz, added, ”At Skyportz we are assembling the infrastructure backbone to make Australia even more attractive for innovative aircraft builders looking for a place to trial real world use cases. We look forward to introducing Electra to our property, freight and logistics partners and developing some viable applications for their aircraft.”
The Electra fixed-wing aircraft will initially carry up to seven passengers and a pilot or 1,800 pounds of cargo up to 500 miles in all weather conditions. Its ability to take off and land in just 100 ft, with in-flight battery recharging, enables flight operations from places previously inaccessible by flight, including urban rooftops and corporate parking lots. Electra’s technology delivers two and a half times the payload and ten times longer range with 70 percent lower operating costs than vertical takeoff alternatives, proving that climate friendly technology can also be cost-effective.
Langford remarked, “Latin America is a key urban air mobility market, and the city of São Paulo, Brazil operates the largest passenger helicopter fleet in the world. Together with Flapper we’ll deliver a quieter, more economical aircraft to this market that slashes fuel burn by 70 per cent versus helicopters, helping to preserve Brazil’s natural beauty and unique biodiversity through a low carbon footprint.”
Flapper is Latin America’s leading charter flight reservation platform, offering near real-time online booking for passenger and freight cargo services for a fleet of over 730 aircraft. Its on-demand service saves hours of travel time between congested cities and airports in a region considered the most urbanised on the planet, with over 80 percent of its population in cities. Under an MOU, Electra will be Flapper’s preferred aircraft provider for five-plus seat regional air services. As Electra’s preferred service provider in Brazil, Flapper commits to purchase 15 Electra eSTOL aircraft with an option for 15 more planes. The two companies will jointly pursue new route networks including for heliport operators and real estate developers and investors. Eve and Flapper recently agreed to develop UAM ops in Latin America.
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