Electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) company Lilium has formed a partnership with airport operators in the south of France to launch air taxi flights in the region and develop a network of vertiports. 

Lilium has partnered with vertiport operator UrbanV and Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ADA), the management company for the airports of Nice Côte d’Azur, Cannes Mandelieu, and Golfe de Saint-Tropez to launch services as early as 2026. 

Sebastien Borel, CCO of Lilium, said: “As a truly European company based in Munich, Germany, with flight testing in Spain and with nascent roots in France, Lilium is extremely proud to be able to assist in the creation of the first regional eVTOL network in the South of France.” 

Along with vertiports at the three airports managed by ADA, Lilium said it is also in discussions about developing eVTOL sites in Sophia Antipolis, Aix-en-Provence, and Marseille. 

While Lilium is still developing its Lilium Jet eVTOL aircraft, with the first piloted flights targeted for the end of the year, the company has been forming partnerships to develop urban and regional air mobility networks ahead of its commercial launch. 

According to the manufacturer, its south of France network will connect major cities in the region such as Nice, Cannes, and Marseille as well as providing links to the country of Monaco. 

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Franck Goldnadel, chairman of the board for ADA, said: “Our territory offers a unique opportunity to fly over the sea to directly connect the main economic, cultural or tourist destinations. 

“A complementary alternative to the helicopter, the eVTOL has its place in the air transport offered from Nice Côte d’Azur, laboratory of the airport of tomorrow, second platform in France and gateway to and exit from a landlocked territory.” 

While Lilium’s network would be the first in southern France, the country has already embraced vertiports elsewhere with operator Skyports opening an eVTOL testbed and passenger terminal at Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield in the Île-de-France region near Paris.