Brazilian airline Gol to operate commercial eVTOL flights
Brazilian airline Gol is partnering with transport company Grupo Comporte to provide carpooling services with Vertical Aerospace’s VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft. The companies today announced an agreement with leasing group Avolon under which they will lease or purchase 250 of the four-passenger planes, which are expected to enter commercial service in 2024.
In June, Avolon ordered 310 VA-X4s from Vertical Aerospace, with options for 190 more. In what was the largest eVTOL aircraft transaction to date, covering up to 1,000 units, American Airlines ordered 250 aircraft with options for 100 more and Virgin Atlantic Airways ordered 50 with 100 more as options.
The Ireland-based leasing company has also joined American Airlines, Honeywell and Rolls-Royce, along with several of Vertical’s existing strategic investors, to support public investment in a private equity deal linked to the start’s planned merger. -up British and New York Stock. Listed on the stock exchange with a special purpose acquisition company called Broadstone Acquisition Corp. This transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of this year, is expected to generate gross proceeds of approximately $ 394 million.
The all-electric VA-X4, which will be flown when it enters service, is expected to have a range of up to 100 miles and a speed of 200 mph. Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace is preparing for a first flight with a full-size prototype before the end of this year.
Gol is a low cost carrier operating throughout Brazil and other parts of South America. Grupo Comporte, based in Brazil, has been active in road transport of passengers and goods since 2002, as well as in real estate development.
“Today’s announcement is an important step in building an eVTOL carpooling platform that will reshape the commercial aviation market in Brazil,” said Domhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon. “The deployment opportunities for the VA-X4 are enormous. Gol and Grupo Comporte both bring broad and diverse networks, as well as a proven track record in business development, making them ideal strategic partners for Avolon. “
Under the September 21 deal, the three companies will work together to identify and target local partners to involve in its planned ridesharing services. They will also jointly focus on infrastructure and certification requirements for operations which they believe could be conducted “across a range of business models”. The statement appeared to leave open the possibility that the eVTOL aircraft could be offered for use in various on-demand and scheduled services.
“The VA-X4 is ideal for a city like Sao Paulo with a population of over 22 million,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of Vertical Aerospace. “Our eVTOLs will transform the way we travel in densely populated and congested cities by soaring through the skies with zero emission planes. “
In August, Brazilian airline Azul agreed to purchase 220 eVTOL aircraft from Lilium and is in talks with the German carrier to develop a network of commercial flights that could start in 2025. The interim purchase agreement has been assessed at $ 1 billion, implying a unit price for the all-electric seven-seat Lilium Jet of $ 4.5 million.
The partners plan to co-brand scheduled services to a country that typically has around 100 million domestic air passengers each year. Brazil is an important market for business jets as well as for helicopter charter flights, which are commonly used to avoid serious traffic jams in major cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.