Avolon, an aircraft leasing company, and Vertical Aerospace, an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft company, have announced a $ 2 billion contract. It provides for the supply of up to 500 eVTOL Vertical VA-X4. This is the largest order of its kind in the world.
According to the parties, the agreement, which includes certain conditions, introduces the category of ultra-small flights into commercial aviation, which “will change the rules of the game and revolutionize air travel using zero-emission aircraft.”
The agreement will combine Avolon’s scale and industry ties with Vertical’s leadership in eVTOL technology. Avolon will join Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Honeywell and American Airlines as an investor in Vertical, and will partner with Virgin Atlantic to become the first VA-X4 user in Europe.
To implement the agreement, a subsidiary company Avolon-e was created. Provided that the VA-X4 aircraft meet the requirements for them, it will purchase a batch of these aircraft in the amount of $ 1.25 billion with delivery at the end of 2024, while retaining the possibility of acquiring additional quantities of up to $ 750 million.
The VA-X4 is a manned electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. It can fly at speeds in excess of 320 km / h, carrying up to four passengers and a pilot over distances of over 160 km. Vertical take-off and landing make the aircraft well suited for urban use. In terms of noise level, it is 100 times quieter than a similar helicopter. In addition, eVTOL is said to be safer than a helicopter.
Avolon, headquartered in Ireland with offices in the United States, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, is the third largest aircraft leasing business in the world. It owns and operates 840 aircraft.