Aircraft leasing company Avolon has placed an order for up to 500 electric eVTOL aircraft from Vertical Aerospace. The companies say the sale will introduce the ultra-short-haul aircraft category to commercial aviation.
The two companies will collaborate throughout the development, certification and commercial roll-out of the VA-X4, a piloted, zero-emissions electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle. It will be capable of travelling over 200 mph, with a range of over 100 miles and capacity for 4 passengers plus a pilot.
Avolon will join Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Honeywell and American Airlines as equity investors in Vertical. Virgin Atlantic will be a VA-X4 launch airline customer in Europe.
Avolon, through its newly incorporated affiliate Avolon-e, will place an order for VA-X4 aircraft valued at $1.25 billion, with an option to acquire additional aircraft up to a value of $750 million. Delivery is expected to begin in late 2024.
“Our order with Vertical will accelerate the inevitable commercial rollout of zero-emissions aircraft,” said Avolon CEO Dómhnal Slattery. “Before the end of this decade, we expect zero-emission urban air mobility, enabled by eVTOLs, to play an increasingly important role in the global commercial aviation market. Our global scale and deep industry relationships, combined with Vertical’s technological leadership, makes this a winning alliance.”
“This agreement with an established aviation company like Avolon will allow us to plug into their global commercial network of airlines, reaching key decision makers in a fast and efficient manner,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of Vertical Aerospace.