Vertical Aerospace (Vertical) [NYSE: EVTL] notes Avolon’s announcement today that it will partner with AirAsia Aviation Group Ltd (AirAsia), Asia’s leading low-cost airline, to create a transformational ride sharing platform in Southeast Asia, including a non-binding memorandum of understanding to lease a minimum of 100 VX4s, Vertical’s flagship electric aircraft.
As announced in June 2021, Avolon, the world’s second largest aircraft lessor, pre-ordered 500 VX4s from Vertical to place with its global airline customers. This endorsement of the VX4 by AirAsia represents the aircraft’s first expansion into Southeast Asia.
With today’s announcement Avolon has now placed 450 of its VX4 pre-order to AirAsia, Japan’s JAL and Brazil’s Gol. Together, these airlines form a growing global community of transport operators that have ordered the VX4.
Vertical has directly agreed pre-orders or pre-order options with the likes of American Airlines, Avolon, Virgin Atlantic, Iberojet, Bristow Group and Marubeni resulting in a market-leading pre-order book by value totaling up to 1350 aircraft with a value of $5.4 bn.
The VX4 is a piloted four-passenger, zero operating emissions electric aircraft that is projected to fly at speeds of up to 200mph, over a 100-mile range. The VX4 is expected to be near silent when in flight, and with a low cost per passenger mile, it will be an affordable option for passengers with a cost at a slight premium to a taxi.
AirAsia’s leasing arrangement through Avolon is the first placement or pre-order since Vertical listed on the NYSE in December 2021
"We are delighted that AirAsia is the latest leading airline committing to lease our zero operating emissions VX4 aircraft. AirAsia provides many fantastic opportunities to travel around some of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world, and I am thrilled that we will be bringing zero emissions flight to people all across Asia."
- Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO Vertical Aerospace
“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.”
- Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon CEO
Last week, Vertical announced that Leonardo (BIT: LDO) would join its blue-chip partner ecosystem of aerospace, engineering and technology companies that Vertical has created to develop the VX4, and in so doing de-risk operational execution, pathway to certification and allowing for a lean cost structure that will enable production at scale. The partner ecosystem includes Rolls-Royce (LON: RR), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Honeywell (LON: HON), GKN, Solvay and Leonardo.
About Vertical Aerospace
Vertical Aerospace is pioneering electric aviation. The company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Ovo Group, a leading energy and technology group and Europe’s largest independent energy retailer. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,700 combined years of engineering experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems. Vertical’s top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification allows for a lean cost structure and enables production at scale. Vertical has a market-leading pre-order book (by value) for a total of up to 1,350 aircraft from American Airlines, Avolon, Bristow and Iberojet, which includes conditional pre-order options from Virgin Atlantic and Marubeni, and in doing so, is creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market.
About VX4 eVTOL Aircraft
The four passenger, one pilot VX4 is projected to have speeds up to 200mph, a range over 100 miles, near silent when in flight, zero operating emissions and low cost per passenger mile. The VX4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel. Find out more: vertical-aerospace.com