Avolon invests in electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft

14 June 2021


ircraft leasing company Avolon has announced a significant investment in the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) market with a $2bn order for up to 500 eVTOL aircraft from UK-based Vertical Aerospace.

This agreement, which is subject to certain closing conditions, will introduce the ultra-short-haul aircraft category to commercial aviation in a move expected to revolutionise air travel with zero-emissions aircraft.

The agreement will combine Avolon’s scale and deep industry relationships with Vertical’s position in the eVTOL space, and will see both companies collaborate throughout the development, road map to certification and subsequent commercial roll-out of the VA-X4.

Avolon will join Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, and American Airlines as equity investors in Vertical, working with Virgin Atlantic, a VA-X4 launch airline customer in Europe. Avolon’s existing young and fuel-efficient fleet will be complemented by an investment in a new category of ultra-short-haul aircraft that will produce zero emissions, the company said.

Avolon, through its newly incorporated affiliate, Avolon-e, will become the customer for the VA-X4 and subject to appropriate operating, delivery and business requirements being met, will order aircraft valued at $1.25bn with delivery commencing in late 2024, with an option to acquire additional aircraft up to a value of $750m, the company said.

Avolon-e has been established by Avolon to focus on investment in the zero-emissions eVTOL sector.

Avolon chief executive Dómhnal Slattery said: “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."