AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

Wisk Aero Secures $450 Million from The Boeing Company to Advance Certified Autonomous Electric Flight

WISK | January 25, 2022

Boeing News
Wisk, a leading Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) company and developer of the first all-electric, self-flying air taxi in the U.S., has secured $450 million in funding from The Boeing Company, making it one of the most well-funded AAM companies in the world. Combined with previous funding, this investment reinforces Wisk’s strong position as a privately-backed AAM leader and highlights the strength of Wisk’s strategic partnership with Boeing and their collaboration on critical technology development.

This investment will further advance the development of Wisk’s 6th generation eVTOL aircraft, a first-ever candidate for certification of an autonomous, all-electric, passenger-carrying aircraft in the U.S. The funding will also support the company as it enters an intensive growth phase over the next year, its preparations for the launch of scale manufacturing, and the company’s Go-to-Market efforts.

Within five years following the certification of its 6th generation aircraft, Wisk intends to operate one of the industry’s largest fleets of AAM eVTOL aircraft. The scale of this fleet is enabled by the company’s autonomous technology, a competitive differentiator and industry-recognized key to scaling services and maximizing safety. In this timeframe, Wisk anticipates close to 14M annual flights bringing time savings to over 40 million people across 20 cities – all with zero emissions.

“Wisk is extremely well-positioned to deliver on our long-term strategy and commitment to safe, everyday flight for everyone. We are incredibly fortunate to have Boeing as not only an investor but a strategic partner, which provides us with access to a breadth of resources, industry-leading expertise, a global reach, extensive certification experience, and more. As we enter this next stage of our growth, this additional funding provides us with capital while allowing us to remain focused on our core business and our number one priority, safety.”

- Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk

"With this investment, we are reconfirming our belief in Wisk’s business and the importance of their work in pioneering all-electric, AI-driven, autonomous capability for the aerospace industry. Autonomy is the key to unlocking scale across all AAM applications, from passenger to cargo and beyond. That’s why straight-to-autonomy is a core first principle. Boeing and Wisk have been at the forefront of AAM innovation for more than a decade, and will continue to lead in the years ahead.”

- Marc Allen, Chief Strategy Officer of Boeing

With its deep expertise in autonomous, electric flight, its extensive flight test history, key knowledge and insights from the development of five generations of aircraft, and the strength of its partnerships, Wisk is positioned to maintain its leadership in the AAM and broader mobility space.

Wisk began in 2010 as Zee Aero, with a mission to deliver safe, everyday flight for everyone, and later merged with Kitty Hawk Corporation. Upon recognizing the commercial potential of Wisk’s 5th generation aircraft, the aircraft and team were spun out to form Wisk, with an investment from The Boeing Company. Over the past decade, Wisk has achieved a number of aviation and industry firsts, most notably, the first flight of an all-electric, autonomous, eVTOL aircraft designed for passenger use, in the U.S.

Previous undisclosed funding rounds were led by The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation, through a joint venture, making Wisk one of the only AAM companies to be backed by two aviation leaders. Kitty Hawk remains an investor and has supported the development of Wisk’s previous generations of aircraft.

ABOUT WISK
Wisk is an advanced air mobility (AAM) company dedicated to delivering safe, everyday flight for everyone. Wisk’s self-flying, eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) air taxi, will make it possible for passengers to skip the traffic and get to their destination faster. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and New Zealand, Wisk is an independent company backed by The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation. With over a decade of experience and over 1500 test flights, Wisk is shaping the future of daily commutes and urban travel, safely and sustainably.

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BUSINESS AVIATION

Jean-Marc Lemaitre Joins SkyThread as EVP-Customer Success

SkyThread | January 18, 2022

Jean-Marc Lemaitre has been named Executive Vice President of Customer Success for SkyThread, a blockchain-enabled data-network company providing error-free exchange of data among commercial aviation stakeholders. "Jean-Marc is a proven leader with extensive experience in the aviation aftermarket and has served in a variety of roles with original equipment manufacturers, He has a great deal of credibility and a reputation for integrity, traits essential for stakeholder trust and confidence, and compatible with the values of the SkyThread team." -Mark Roboff, Chief Executive Officer of SkyThread. Lemaitre said digital transformation in the aerospace industry currently is focused primarily on analytics, thus overlooking a key area of improvement that is SkyThread's focus. "That key area is the ability to rapidly record error-free aviation transactions, which is a far more fruitful pursuit, As the industry struggles to streamline transactions and unleash more than $30 billion in unrealized value, accelerating error-free data exchange among all participants is key to customer success," he said. "I look forward to helping customers streamline transaction processes and accelerate our industry's necessary digital transformation without additional capital investment." -Jean-Marc Lemaitre About SkyThread SkyThread is a blockchain-enabled data network provider focused on empowering commercial aviation stakeholders to unleash more than $30 billion in value by rapidly accelerating error-free data exchange among participants. The company has developed a trustworthy, federated system of record coupled with industry-leading validation logic that makes data permanent and unchangeable. We call this authenticating "Data for the Life of the Aircraft." The system is compatible with existing legacy IT systems and requires no capital investment from aviation stakeholders such as airlines, lessors, airplane manufacturers, regulators, and suppliers. SkyThread's intent is for the data exchange's rules to be governed by an independent, consensus-driven, and neutral consortium comprised of diverse industry stakeholders, in which SkyThread plans to be a supplier member.

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BUSINESS AVIATION

Southern California's Ontario International Airport Authority authorizes major ground lease and development agreement for surplus property

McDonald Property Group | December 24, 2021

The Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Commission voted unanimously today to authorize a Development and Entitlement Agreement that will lead to a ground lease for approximately 198 acres of surplus property at the Southern California airport. The 55-year lease will generate approximately $275 million over the first 10 years, which will support ongoing airport improvements while keeping costs down for airlines. The OIAA determined the property, located east of Haven Avenue, north of Jurupa Avenue, south of Airport Drive and west of Carnegie Avenue, is unsuited for typical airport use, making it surplus to the airport's aviation/aeronautical needs. (See accompanying ONT aerial photo showing surplus property to be leased.) "We are pleased and proud to move forward with the first of several major real estate transactions to monetize vacant property since the airport was transferred to local control in November 2016, As envisioned in the OIAA strategic business plan, the ongoing revenue stream will help ONT fund vital safety, security and infrastructure projects while keeping airport costs to airlines low. As a result, ONT will become even more attractive for airlines to inaugurate and increase flight schedules." -Alan D. Wapner, Mayor pro Tem of the City of Ontario and President of the OIAA Board of Commissioners. CanAm Ontario LLC, a venture formed by San Antonio, TX-based USAA Real Estate Company and McDonald Property Group of Newport Beach, CA, will develop the vacant property for industrial use in compliance with the Airport Compatibility Plan required under State Law. Steven Ames, Managing Director-Investments, USAA Real Estate Company, sounded a note of optimism following the Board's action. CanAm Ontario was selected following a competitive process which began with 17 bidders managed by CBRE Group, Inc., a global leader in real estate services and investment headquartered in Los Angeles. The deal calls for a non-refundable $10 million deposit to OIAA. After allowing time for CanAm Ontario to obtain local jurisdictional entitlement and environmental approvals, rental revenue to the OIAA will start at $25 million in the first year, increasing in five-year increments, resulting in revenue of $90.6 per year in the final five years. The net present value of the agreement is $625 million. "The air carriers at Ontario support efforts that keep operating costs low, which benefits anyone who uses the airport, This is an example of the Authority's continued efforts to provide funding for airport improvements while reducing airline costs". -Trey Hettinger, Chair of the ONT Airline Affairs Committee representing the Signatory passenger and cargo airlines operating at ONT. Airport officials noted that special consideration was given to ensure the transaction complies with applicable federal laws and Federal Aviation Administration policies and provide lease revenue exceeding fair market value as determined by three independent appraisals. Federal law requires that revenues generated by the airport be used for airport purposes. About Ontario International Airport Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the fastest growing airport in the United States, according to Global Traveler, a leading publication for frequent fliers. Located in the Inland Empire, ONT is approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California. It is a full-service airport which, before the coronavirus pandemic, offered nonstop commercial jet service to 26 major airports in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and Taiwan. About the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) The OIAA was formed in August 2012 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino to provide overall direction for the management, operations, development and marketing of ONT for the benefit of the Southern California economy and the residents of the airport's four-county catchment area. OIAA Commissioners are Ontario Mayor Pro Tem Alan D. Wapner (President), Retired Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge (Vice President), Ontario City Council Member Jim W. Bowman (Secretary), San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman (Commissioner) and retired business executive Julia Gouw (Commissioner).

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AIRPORT MANAGEMENT

Avelo Airlines Starts Nonstop Service Between the Palm Beaches and Southern Connecticut

Avelo Airlines | January 03, 2022

Avelo's exclusive direct service between Connecticut's most convenient airport – Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN) - and Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) will operate daily between December 16, 2021 and January 4, 2022. Flight 345 departs HVN at 7:00 a.m. arriving PBI at 10:10 a.m. Flight 346 departs PBI at 10:50 a.m. arriving HVN at 1:40 p.m. Beginning January 5, Avelo will operate the flight five days per week (Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays). The flights will be operated by Boeing Next Generation 737-700 aircraft. "We are excited to begin service today between the Palm Beaches and Southern Connecticut, HVN is Connecticut's most convenient airport and the ultimate gateway between the remarkable cultural, dinning, entertainment and outdoor options both regions have to offer. We look forward to welcoming our new Customers from both popular and beautiful destinations." -Avelo Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy. Explore the Palm Beaches The Palm Beaches is home to legendary beaches, shopping and entertainment. The area's iconic restaurants, glitzy nightlife and unapologetically luxurious resorts attract sunseekers from across the globe. Lined with stately palm trees, this South Florida paradise is a vacationer's nirvana. With miles of world-famous white sand beaches and turquoise water, there is a spot on this majestic Atlantic coastline for every mood and interest. "We are excited to welcome Avelo Airlines to PBI with nonstop service from New Haven, CT, Offering our passengers an easy, convenient, stress-free experience is our goal and this will only build on that reputation. The northeast is a very important market and additional nonstop service is key to its continued growth and popularity for our travelers." -Laura Beebe, director of airports for Palm Beach County. The New Way to Connecticut Best known as the home of Yale University, New Haven is the second largest city in Connecticut and is part of the New York metropolitan area. The coastal city has experienced—and continues to enjoy—a renaissance. Within an easy stroll from the New Haven Green are more than 100 distinctive restaurants, offering something for every palate, and the city abounds with theaters, museums, and shopping destinations to satisfy all interests and tastes. New Haven has a rich cultural heritage, from museums and theatres to music festivals and entertainment throughout the year, including the New Haven Jazz Festival, the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, and the Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival that regularly bring thousands of visitors to the city. Amidst the crowds, long lines, lengthy walks, and traffic congestion encountered at other airports frequented by travelers to and from the region, HVN offers a refreshingly smooth and simple alternative hometown airport experience. HVN's adjacency to multiple major highways and commuter railways make it Connecticut's most convenient and easily accessible airport. Avelo is the first airline to offer nonstop flights between HVN and Florida. Avelo's arrival to HVN also marks the largest expansion of service at HVN in more than 30 years. A Different, Better and More Affordable Travel Experience Avelo's everyday low fares have no change or cancellation fees. There is also no charge for Customers who choose to make reservations by phone. Additionally, Avelo offers several unbundled travel-enhancing options that give Customers the flexibility to pay for what they value, including priority boarding, checked bags, carry-on overhead bags, and for bringing a pet in the cabin. Avelo operates single-class, fuel-efficient 147-seat 737-700 Boeing jets between HVN and PBI, offering Customers a more spacious and comfortable experience than the regional aircraft historically serving HVN. Customers may choose from several seating options, including seats with extra leg room, as well as pre-reserved window and aisle seating. Avelo became America's first new scheduled airline in nearly 15 years when it initiated service on April 28, 2021, from its first base at Los Angeles' Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR). The airline – which offers a convenient, affordable, and caring experience – currently serves 18 popular destinations across the U.S. Avelo initiated service from HVN to Florida on November 3. In addition to PBI, Avelo currently serves Fort Myers, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. Avelo will initiate service to Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla. in January. Avelo is distinguished by its Soul of Service culture. The culture is grounded in a "One Crew" mindset that promotes teamwork, understanding and kindness. By caring for one another and owning their commitments, Avelo Crewmembers provide a smooth, enjoyable, reliable, and caring experience for its Customers. About Avelo Airlines Avelo Airlines was founded with a simple purpose — to Inspire Travel. The airline offers Customers time and money-saving convenience, very low everyday fares, and a refreshingly smooth and caring experience through its Avelo Soul of Service culture. Operating a fleet of Boeing Next Generation 737 aircraft, Avelo serves 18 popular destinations across the U.S., including its West Coast base at Los Angeles' Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) and its East Coast base at Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN). For more information visit AveloAir.com. Avelo BROLL + Images here.

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BUSINESS AVIATION

TravelX and Kiu System Solutions Partner to Enable 73 Airlines to Distribute Inventory via Blockchain

TravelX | May 05, 2022

TravelX, the company building the travel industry's blockchain-based distribution protocol, announced a partnership with Kiu System Solutions via Kiu PSS - the comprehensive commercialization solution for airlines providing tools to manage inventory, reservations and tickets. This enables 73 airlines to tokenize and distribute inventory as NFTs through the blockchain ecosystem. "At Kiu, we are focused on developing innovative and efficient solutions. This has been possible due to our vast experience in the industry and desire to provide new and better technologies to our clients and passengers. Through this partnership, we are excited to provide a new and innovative sales channel to our customers," Alberto Desimone, CEO and co-founder of Kiu The strategic alliance allows airlines operating with Kiu to reduce distribution and transaction costs and increase revenue, while improving the traveler experience, by tokenizing and globally distributing inventory as NFTickets. NFTickets can be exchanged between actors in the blockchain network in accordance with smart contracts or parameters predefined by the service provider, generating additional revenue streams. Additionally, through transactions on the blockchain, refunds and exchanges are immediate and governed by automatically executed smart contracts, which saves money and time associated with customer service. "We are very excited to be a part of the industry's first integration between a blockchain distribution protocol and PSS with the global reach of Kiu. Through this, more airlines will be able to experience the benefits that tokenization and blockchain provide in terms of cost efficiencies and revenue generation," adds Juan Pablo Lafosse, CEO and co-founder of TravelX. "We are proud that our partnership makes this all possible for airlines without the need for additional investments or technological developments on their side, as tokenizing inventory through blockchain is as easy as logging on and updating their agreement with Kiu." TravelX was born in 2021 to reimagine the travel industry and accelerate its adaptation to Web3. One of TravelX's most innovative propositions is the tokenization of E-tickets, evolving them into NFTickets. The company plans to launch its first service and marketplace later this year. About TravelX TravelX is building a blockchain-based distribution protocol designed to create a more secure, decentralized, frictionless, transparent and efficient travel industry. The company's technology allows travel suppliers to more efficiently manage their inventory, unleashing use cases that enhance both travelers' flexibility and suppliers' profitability.

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