Business Wire | September 14, 2023
H2FLY, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Joby Aviation, today announced the successful completion of the world’s first piloted flight of a liquid hydrogen-powered electric aircraft.
H2FLY, acquired by Joby in 2021, continues to lead the industry on the development and testing of hydrogen aviation propulsion systems. The company completed a series of piloted flights with its HY4 demonstrator aircraft, including one that lasted more than three hours, fitted with a hydrogen-electric fuel cell propulsion system and liquid hydrogen that powered it for the entire flight.
The flights demonstrate the viability of using cryogenically-stored liquid hydrogen instead of gaseous hydrogen, which enables significantly lower tank weights and volume, leading to longer range. The successful installation and demonstration of flight with liquid hydrogen is believed to increase the range of H2FLY’s HY4 demonstrator aircraft from 466 mi (750 km) to 932 mi (1500 km), marking a critical step towards the long-term decarbonization of mid- to long-range aviation.
“H2FLY are pioneers in their field, and we’re proud of them achieving this watershed moment in the use of liquid hydrogen to power aircraft,” said JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation. “In the years to come, battery-electric and hydrogen-electric propulsion systems will enable us to build aircraft that are quieter and make mid- to long-range air travel possible with zero emissions. It’s critical we take action now and invest aggressively in these technologies for the health of our planet and future generations to come.”
The successful flights are the culmination of Project HEAVEN, a European-government-supported consortium assembled to demonstrate the feasibility of using liquid hydrogen in aircraft. The consortium is led by H2FLY and includes the partners Air Liquide, Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, and Fundación Ayesa.
Following this test flight milestone, H2FLY will increasingly focus on its path to commercialization. In June, H2FLY announced the development of its new fuel cell systems, which will be capable of providing their full power range at altitudes high enough to enable commercial hydrogen-electric aircraft, demonstrating real-world commercial aircraft applications.
Joby Aviation, Inc. is a California-based transportation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing air taxi which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient service in cities around the world.
Wheels Up | September 26, 2023
Wheels Up Experience (NYSE: UP) today announced that it has closed the previously announced investment by Delta Air Lines, Certares Management LLC, Knighthead Capital Management LLC and Cox Enterprises.
The new investment structure combines the experience of Delta, the No. 1 premium airline, with the travel and tourism focus of Certares and turnaround and restructuring experience of Knighthead. It includes an agreement for a $500 million credit facility to Wheels Up, with funds contributed by Delta and CK Wheels LLC, which is co-managed by affiliates of Certares and Knighthead, and Cox. The announcement follows last week's selection of George Mattson as the company's new CEO.
"This investment represents both an important source of capital for Wheels Up to support our strategy for financial stability, future profitability and long-term growth on behalf of our members and customers, as well as a vote of confidence in our path forward from a group of investors with deep experience in the premium travel space," Mattson said. "We look forward to working closely with Delta and our other investors to deliver best-in-class operating performance and an exceptional customer experience which, as we deepen our commercial partnership, will also enable us to provide a one-of-a-kind seamless connection between private and premium commercial travel."
"Wheels Up is an integral part of Delta's portfolio of premium partners, and this deep relationship offers a significant opportunity to deliver compelling benefits to our customers that are unique in the travel space," said Dan Janki, Wheels Up Chairman and Delta's Chief Financial Officer. "This investment and new leadership puts Wheels Up on a strong path to future success."
The credit facility is comprised of a $350 million term loan funded at closing from Delta, CK Wheels LLC and Cox and a $100 million revolving credit facility from Delta. The terms of the credit agreement permit a new lender to provide a $50 million term loan after the closing date, as approved by Delta, Certares, Knighthead and Cox, and it is anticipated this additional funding will close in the near term.
In connection with the closing of the credit facility, the lenders will initially receive newly issued Wheels Up common stock representing 80% of the company's outstanding equity as of the closing of the credit facility, on a fully diluted basis. After approval by Wheels Up's stockholders of an amendment to its certificate of incorporation, the company will issue to the lenders additional new shares such that the lenders will own 95% of the company's outstanding equity as of the closing of the credit facility, on a fully diluted basis.
Wheels Up also announced a new structure for its Board of Directors. Under the new structure, Delta Air Lines will appoint four directors, Certares and Knighthead each will appoint two directors, and Cox will appoint one director. In addition, one company executive will join the Board and two independent directors are expected to remain from the previous Board.
The parties were assisted in the transaction by a number of strategic advisors, including: Davis Polk, Jefferies LLC, Kirkland & Ellis and PJT Partners.
About Wheels Up
Wheels Up is a leading provider of on-demand private aviation in the U.S. and one of the largest private aviation companies in the world. Wheels Up offers a complete global aviation solution with a large, modern, and diverse fleet, backed by an uncompromising commitment to safety and service. Customers can access membership programs, charter, aircraft management services and whole aircraft sales, as well as unique commercial travel benefits through a strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines. Wheels Up also offers freight, safety and security solutions and managed services to individuals, industry, government, and civil organizations.
Wheels Up is guided by the mission to connect private flyers to aircraft, and one another, through an open platform that seamlessly enables life's most important experiences. Powered by a global private aviation marketplace connecting its base of approximately 12,000 members and customers to a network of approximately 1,500 safety-vetted and verified private aircraft, Wheels Up is widening the aperture of private travel for millions of consumers globally. With the Wheels Up mobile app and website, members and customers have the digital convenience to search, book and fly.
PR Newswire | October 03, 2023
Alerion Aviation, a leading brand in private aviation management and charter services, is thrilled to announce the addition of several new private jets to its managed aircraft portfolio. With this expansion, Alerion Aviation is now equipped to provide an even greater range of options for private jet charter, ensuring an unparalleled experience for its clients.
The newly added aircraft, meticulously selected for their comfort, performance, and safety, include a diverse range of models from Gulfstream GV and G200, Hawker 900, Citation Sovereign and Citation X. Whether for business or leisure, Alerion Aviation's fleet offers a charter solution tailored to each client's requirements.
"We are excited to offer our clients an expanded fleet of private jets under our management for charter," said Richard Ziskind, Chief Commercial Officer at Alerion Aviation. "This strategic expansion allows us to continue delivering the highest level of service, flexibility, and luxury in the private aviation industry."
Alerion Aviation takes pride in its commitment to safety, ensuring that all aircraft are maintained to the highest industry standards. The company's team of experienced professionals provides a seamless and worry-free travel experience for every client.
Whether it is a short domestic flight or a long-haul international journey, Alerion Aviation remains dedicated to delivering unparalleled luxury, convenience, and privacy for its clients. The company's charter services are ideal for business executives, families, and individuals seeking a hassle-free and exclusive travel experience.
About Alerion Aviation:
Alerion Aviation, with bases in New York, Florida, and California, provides an unmatched level of service, safety, and privacy for private jet charters as well as aircraft management, maintenance, and worldwide aviation consulting. It manages and operates midsize, super-mid, and heavy jets, all available for charter. The company's commitment to safety has garnered prestigious, third-party ratings, including the ARG/US Platinum Elite Rating, Wyvern, and IS-BAO (International Standard for Business Aviation Operations) Stage 3 certification.
Business Wire | October 12, 2023
Archer Aviation Inc. a leader in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, today announced that it has closed agreements with Synovus Bank and Evans General Contractors, LLC for the financing and development of its high-volume manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia. Construction is already underway on the first phase of the Covington facility build out of approximately 350,000 square feet to support production of up to 650 aircraft per year, which would make it the world’s largest eVTOL aircraft manufacturing facility by volume.
Archer expects to produce the highest volume of eVTOL aircraft while bearing a dramatically lower manufacturing capital cost than projects announced by competitors in the industry. Today’s announcement secures at least $65 million in financing which represents a substantial majority of the cost of construction for the first phase of Archer’s eVTOL manufacturing facility. In conjunction with previously announced incentives from the state of Georgia and Archer’s partnership with Stellantis, today’s announcement advances the company’s strategy of creating the most capital efficient path to scaled manufacturing. This is also possible due to Archer’s business strategy of partnering with top tier aerospace suppliers, like Honeywell and Safran, for a majority of Midnight’s components, streamlining the manufacturing and assembly process dramatically while allowing for a facility that is set to achieve high volumes of output.
Phase one of Archer’s high-volume manufacturing facility is on target to be completed in 2024 ahead of Midnight’s planned entry into service in 2025. Phase two of the facility provides the capability to expand the operation to approximately 900,000 square feet to support long-term production targets of over 2,000 aircraft per year.
“The ability to manufacture eVTOL aircraft at scale is critical to building a successful business in this industry and Archer continues to maintain a significant lead on this front. Today, we’re taking another major step forward on our manufacturing buildout by securing a design-build agreement and financing agreement for the world’s first, and largest by volume, eVTOL manufacturing facility,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s Founder and CEO. “Consistent with our capital efficient strategy of getting to commercialization, we’ve achieved attractive terms on the project. These agreements, along with our already strong partnership with Stellantis, give us the flexibility to ramp up our capacity and become the leading scale manufacturer of eVTOL aircraft in the world.”
Archer has selected Synovus Bank and Evans General Contractors, LLC, respectively, as its financing and development partners. In selecting its partners for the Covington project, Archer considered a range of companies with expertise in high-volume manufacturing facilities in the southeast United States. Goldstein added, “We are committed long-term partners to the community in Covington, Georgia, and we are thrilled to be working with companies who share our vision of having the world’s leading, state-of-the-art eVTOL manufacturing facility right here in the United States.”
Archer’s goal is to transform urban travel, replacing 60-90 minute commutes by car, with estimated 10-20 minute electric aircraft flights that are safe, sustainable, low noise and cost competitive with ground transportation. Archer’s Midnight is a piloted, four passenger aircraft designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time in between flights. Archer’s Midnight aircraft will be manufactured at the company’s high-volume manufacturing facility in Covington, GA before being deployed to different customers and markets in the U.S. and abroad.
Archer is designing and developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for use in urban air mobility networks. Archer’s mission is to unlock the skies, freeing everyone to reimagine how they move and spend time. Archer's team is based in Santa Clara, CA.