Defense and Space

Vertical Aerospace Secures Pre-Delivery Payment Commitment From American Airlines

Vertical Aerospace
Vertical Aerospace a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero-emissions aviation, today announces that it has confirmed delivery slots and the commitment of associated pre-delivery payments with American Airlines.

American has reserved delivery slots for the first 50 VX4 aircraft of its initial conditional pre-order of up to 250 aircraft, with an option for an additional 100, announced in June 2021. The parties will build upon their existing joint working group to collaborate on a framework to explore the future of advanced air mobility and prepare for the VX4’s entry into service.

The commitment to pay pre-delivery payments and confirmation of slot reservations for the first 50 aircraft is believed to be the first of its kind for a major airline in the eVTOL industry, and it marks a significant milestone in the partnership between American and Vertical.

Today’s announcement follows the recent news of a further 50 conditional pre-orders of the VX4 from FLYINGGROUP, establishing Molicel as its battery partner, and agreeing to concurrent certification with the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

We are delighted to have reached this major milestone with American Airlines on our eVTOL partnership. Together, we are making zero-emissions flight a reality for passengers travelling all over the world. We look forward to continuing our work with American and seeing the first red, white and blue VX4 come off the production line.”

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder & CEO of Vertical 

“Our partnership with Vertical is a great example of progress in our commitment to reducing carbon emissions throughout our airline and the industry,” said American’s Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr. “We have made great strides in simplifying our fleet with newer and more fuel-efficient aircraft, and are proud to take part in another step toward the development of advanced air mobility.”

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 1,400 aircraft from global customers creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market. Customers include American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow, Marubeni, Iberojet and FLYINGGROUP, as well as Japan Airlines, Gol, Air Greenland, Gozen Holding and AirAsia, through Avolon’s VX4 placements.

Vertical’s ordinary shares and warrants commenced trading on the NYSE in December 2021 under the tickers “EVTL” and “EVTLW,” respectively.

About the VX4 eVTOL Aircraft
The VX4 is projected to be capable of transporting a pilot and up to four passengers, traveling distances of over 100 miles, and achieving top speeds of over 200 miles per hour, while producing minimal noise and zero operating emissions. The VX4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel.

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Business Aviation, Commercial Aviation, Aviation Technology

CDPQ and SMBC Aviation Capital partner to create USD 1.5 B aircraft financing platform

PR Newswire | January 30, 2024

CDPQ, a global investment group, and SMBC Aviation Capital, the world's second largest aircraft leasing company, announced today that they have finalized an agreement to create a USD 1.5-billion global aircraft financing and leasing platform dedicated to modern, fuel-efficient NextGen aircraft. This new platform will focus on worldwide opportunities in new technology aircraft and target an initial deployment of USD 500 million per year, over three years. SMBC Aviation Capital will source transactions and, under a sistership condition, invest in opportunities alongside the platform. SMBC Aviation Capital will also act as servicer of the platform, which will operate under the banner Maple Aircraft Company Holdings Limited. "Building on CDPQ's experience in the aircraft financing industry, through this new platform, we will continue to provide flexible financing solutions for airlines to meet their future fleet requirements," said Marc Cormier, Executive Vice-President and Head of Fixed Income at CDPQ. "We're delighted to partner with SMBC Aviation Capital, an industry leader with a successful track record, who has demonstrated their commitment to sustainable aviation, to find the best opportunities in the commercial aircraft industry and to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns over the long term." "We are pleased to partner with CDPQ on this new platform to benefit our airline customers worldwide," said Peter Barrett, Chief Executive Officer at SMBC Aviation Capital. "CDPQ is an experienced, well respected, global investment group, which is aligned with our own views on capital allocation and a sustainable aviation industry. We look forward to working with our new partners over the coming years on this collaboration."

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Aerospace, Aviation Technology, Airport Management

Avelo Airlines' First International Service Takes Flight From Lansing Through Apple Vacations Partnership

PR Newswire | January 27, 2024

Avelo Airlines' first international service takes flight this weekend from Lansing's Capital Region International Airport (LAN) in partnership with Apple Vacations. The partnership's new scheduled public charter service will serve three international destinations from LAN. Avelo and Apple Vacations offer nonstop flights and vacation packages between LAN and three tropical international destinations: Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic beginning tomorrow, Jan. 27 through April 3, 2024. Booking information and specific flight dates and times can be found at AppleVacations.com. Beginning Jan. 27: Lansing to Cancun International Airport (CUN) – three times weekly on Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays Beginning Feb. 2: Lansing to Montego Bay's Sangster International Airport (MBJ) – one time weekly on Fridays Beginning Jan. 28: Lansing to Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) – two times weekly on Sundays and Thursdays Avelo Airlines Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy said, "These three tropical destinations Avelo will operate for Apple Vacations from Lansing are the perfect debut of Avelo's international service. We look forward to offering the same reliable and friendly experience to Apple Vacations' Customers that we've been providing Avelo's Capital Region Customers since we took flight at LAN 15 months ago. Apple Vacations' selection of Avelo to operate their flights to these three popular destinations is a testament to positive reputation we've built in Michigan and across the country." Additionally, Avelo offers twice-weekly scheduled service between LAN and Orlando International Airport (MCO). Avelo is the only airline offering nonstop service between LAN and MCO. Nonstop service to Orlando can be booked at AveloAir.com. Since Avelo began service at LAN on October 26, 2022, the airline has flown over 30,000 Customers on nearly 300 flights. Avelo also leads LAN in reliability with a 100% completion factor, meaning there have been no Avelo cancellations at LAN since the airline inaugurated served there 15 months ago. Capital Region Airport Authority President and CEO Nicole Noll-Williams said, "We are thrilled that Apple Vacations is back at LAN for our 2024 international season. And we couldn't be more excited that Apple selected Avelo Airlines to operate these flights with their exceptional track record for reliable and friendly service. These nonstop flights to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica for 2024 are another reminder that LAN is a gateway to popular vacation destinations around the world – and it's not too late to book your trip!" America's Most Convenient Airline Avelo was founded to Inspire Travel by saving its Customers time and money. Since taking flight on April 28, 2021, Avelo has flown 4.2 million Customers on over 30,000 flights. Today, Avelo serves 43 destinations in 23 states and Puerto Rico. Along the way, Avelo has unlocked a new era of convenience, choice and competition by flying unserved routes to primarily underserved communities across the country. Every Avelo flight is nonstop, and at least one airport on every Avelo flight is a small, easy to use airport – making every Avelo journey easier and more enjoyable. Avelo is distinguished by its reliability. In 2023, Avelo achieved the lowest flight cancellation rate and the second-best on-time performance in the U.S. airline industry. Avelo Customers can always change or cancel their itineraries with no extra fees. Additionally, families can travel with ease knowing every child 13 and under will always be automatically seated with an accompanying adult at no additional cost. Additionally, Avelo offers advanced seat assignments for sale. One third of its seats are extra leg room seats, ranging from 32 inches to more than 36 inches, offering a more comfortable experience for Customers who value more space. In addition to advance seat assignments, Avelo offers several unbundled travel-enhancing options that give Customers the flexibility to pay only for what they value, including priority boarding, checked bags, carry-on overhead bags, and bringing a pet in the cabin.

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Air Transport, Cargo Management, Airport Management

Delta Cargo launches e-commerce solution DeliverDirect in collaboration with SmartKargo

PR Newswire | February 01, 2024

Delta Cargo is excited to announce the launch of its newest product, DeliverDirect, developed in collaboration with SmartKargo. DeliverDirect is a door-to-door delivery service for the U.S. market, offering a competitive and customizable solution for e-commerce retailers seeking to optimize their direct-to-consumer shipping solutions. With DeliverDirect, Delta Cargo pioneers an innovative domestic carrier approach, providing swift service with transparent pricing for e-commerce and small parcel delivery. From initial warehouse pickup to delivery at the end consumer's doorstep, DeliverDirect is a fast, seamless, end-to-end service that upgrades traditional ground or air shipping services utilized by most current e-tailers. Small package shippers will benefit from increased shipping speeds, an uncomplicated pricing structure, proactive alert management, transparent tracking and reporting, and access to Delta's vast domestic network. "We are thrilled to introduce DeliverDirect, our new offer for the small parcel delivery market," shared Alison Ricker, Managing Director, Delta Cargo Global Sales. "Through our strategic collaboration with SmartKargo, DeliverDirect gives e-tailers an alternative transportation solution that fits their customers' requirements, and we envision that this service will prove to be a fast, reliable and cost-effective solution." The DeliverDirect offering can be tailored to shippers' needs with a variety of service innovations that empower customers to customize according to their unique preferences. These service innovations include: personalized pick-up times, geo-fenced notifications for consumers, multiple delivery attempts, signature-required deliveries, proof of delivery with photos, and access to advanced reporting features for a complete comprehensive service that aligns seamlessly with a variety of needs. "E-commerce shippers are looking for simple, faster and more reliable alternatives to deliver their products to consumers. Delta Cargo has a vision for small package delivery that will transform the U.S. market and continue to diversify their already robust offering in the air cargo market. Their innovative approach makes them a fantastic partner for SmartKargo, and we look forward to growing this service together," stated Milind Tavshikar, CEO and Founder of SmartKargo.

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Aerospace, Aviation Technology

WestJet adding to fleet in 2025 through leasing of five new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

Newswire | January 24, 2024

WestJet today announced the acquisition of five brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 to its fleet, adding to the airline's already significant multi-billion-dollar investment in its orderbook. The airline expects to receive delivery of the aircraft in early 2025, after recently completing leasing agreements with China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. (CDB Aviation) for three aircraft and international aircraft leasing company, Avolon for two aircraft. "We are adding these five aircraft to our 737 MAX family very soon and look forward to this additional capacity enhancing our already forecasted fleet expansion, further enabling our execution of providing affordable and diverse air travel options for our guests," said Mike Scott, WestJet Group, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. "As Canada's coast-to-coast leisure champion and western home carrier, the continued expansion of our fleet in tandem with our low-cost foundation is a key accelerator of our growth strategy. Combined with its existing order book, WestJet will now receive as many as 22 brand new Boeing 737 MAX airplanes before the end of 2025, and up to 62 additional airplanes of this type before the end of 2028. This makes WestJet's narrowbody orderbook the largest of any Canadian airline. "CDB Aviation values our expanding relationship with WestJet and we are pleased to be able to support the airline's fleet expansion in an environmentally friendly manner as we lease these three new fuel-efficient B737-8 aircraft direct from our orderbook," stated Jie Chen, CDB Aviation's Chief Executive Officer. "We're delighted to be expanding on our strong relationship with Westjet and are pleased to support WestJet's fleet expansion needs from our Boeing orderbook," said Paul Geaney, President and Chief Commercial Officer, Avolon. "We expect to see continued growth for the aviation sector in the coming years, including in North America, and are excited to provide a fleet solution to a strategic customer in the region."

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