Aircraft developer PLANA has announced that it will deliver 50 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to SkyTaxi, a flying taxi company operated by SoraTobu Taxi.
The Korean company announced that it had signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with SkyTaxi for PLANA’s hybrid eVTOL CP-01 currently under development.
Japan-based SkyTaxi stated that PLANA’s CP-01 was chosen due to its significantly longer flight range through the utilisation of a hybrid approach.
Additionally, the company has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SkyTaxi for the development and operation of AAM aircraft.
According to the company, the initial 10 eVTOL aircraft will be delivered in 2030, followed by an additional 40 by 2040.
Under the letter of intent and business agreement, PLANA and SkyTaxi will collaborate on the development of advanced air mobility (AAM) aircraft, operational concepts, and interior design concepts that cater to the needs of flying taxi operators.
The two companies also plan to develop cross-border AAM air routes utilising the CP-01, which will be supplied by PLANA in the future.
“With the signing of this LoI and business cooperation, we have opened up a huge potential market in Japan, and for the first time in the world, we are looking at cross-border travel,” said PLANA CEO Braden J. Kim.
“We will proceed with the development of the aircraft according to the roadmap we have designed and continue to develop more optimised utilisation models by understanding the specificities of each country’s market.”
SoraTobu Taxi was formed last year by the Daiho Taxi Group, which has been operating taxi companies in the Osaka region of Japan for almost a century.
SkyTaxi was created to venture into the flying taxi business and is currently training pilots, introducing new aircraft, and conducting operational tests.
“This collaborative project between PLANA and SkyTaxi will have a huge impact on the global AAM industry by players from Asia,” said Takuto Hojo, CEO of SkyTaxi.
“We are committed to developing the best business with PLANA so that we can be a model case for one of Asia’s leading AAM industries.”
The company is planning to launch air routes that will connect Osaka’s city centres, world heritage and sightseeing destinations, and Kansai and Kobe airports, in time for the 2025 Osaka Expo.
In the future, SkyTaxi says it plans to launch long-distance flying taxi operations focused on the tourism industry, utilising eVTOL aircraft.