Aircraft leasing company Avolon has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with AirAsia Aviation Group Limited (AirAsia) to lease a minimum of 100 of its VX4 eVTOL aircraft.
The VX4 aircraft, Vertical Aerospace’s flagship electric aircraft, will be used by AirAsia to provide advanced air mobility services.
This aircraft will be able to fly at a maximum speed of 80kmph and range of 160km, stated Vertical. It can carry one pilot and four travellers, at zero operating emissions.
Avolon CEO Dómhnal Slattery said: “Tony Fernandes is an aviation pioneer who has built AirAsia into one of the leading airlines in the world and has now also created Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing Super App anchored on travel.
“We are delighted to partner with AirAsia who share our vision of revolutionising the future of air travel. We look forward to working with Tony and the AirAsia team on their eVTOL journey.
“Together we will develop a ride-sharing platform and bring the zero-emissions VX4 aircraft into service, positioning AirAsia as the operator of choice for sustainable air travel in the region.”
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Furthermore, Avolon’s affiliate Avolon-e will collaborate with AirAsia to commercialise zero-emissions eVTOL aircraft and establish an urban air mobility (UAM) platform in Southeast Asia.
As part of this initiative, the pair will create a working group to research market opportunities and infrastructure needs for UAM, as well as pursue local certification.
Capital A (formerly AirAsia Group) CEO Tony Fernandes said: “Innovation has always been in our DNA and using technology to look at more efficient and sustainable ways of doing things is a core focus across Capital A (formerly AirAsia Group).
“In the VX4, we have identified what we believe will be the eVTOL aircraft of choice and we are thrilled to be the launch airline for the aircraft in Southeast Asia.
“We are also delighted to extend our long-standing relationship with Avolon, which has a proven track record of delivering for its customers and is in sync with our goal to become the leading one-stop travel and delivery platform in Asean.”