As part of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, Bristow Group plans to purchase 50 of Lilium’s electric aircraft and provide maintenance services for a launch network in Florida as well as future markets elsewhere in the U.S. and Europe. Bristow intends to support the Lilium Jet’s entry into service and to become an authorized service provider for the company. This week, three other companies have also announced their intent to purchase a number of Lilium Jets.
AAP Aviation is a full-service provider of integrated aviation solutions including flight operations support and advanced technologies. This week, AAP Aviation and Lilium shared that they have signed an agreement to develop a network of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in Norway and other countries in Scandinavia. AAP Aviation also plans to purchase 40 of Lilium’s eVTOLs as part of the agreement.
AAP Aviation’s CEO, Espen Høiby, remarked that Norway is well suited for regional air mobility services because of the region’s water, terrain, and mountains. “The Lilium Jet can achieve hours of time savings compared with today’s transportation modes. The Lilium Jet performance, its low noise profile and its spacious cabin makes the ideal aircraft to develop sustainable air transport in Scandinavia,” Høiby said in response to the new agreement with Lilium.
European business jet operator ASL Group has just entered into an agreement with Lilium to establish a network of landing sites across Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Western Germany. ASL Group also plans to purchase six Lilium Jets initially, with the possibility of ordering more aircraft later on.
In 2020, ASL Group launched a program called “Responsible Initiative for Sustainable Environment” (RISE) with the goal of reducing the company’s environmental impact. CEO Philippe Bodson noted that purchasing the Lilium Jet is an opportunity to make their business more sustainable while improving the services they offer their customers. Bodson sees the Lilium Jet as the best option on the market because of its spacious premium cabin, its vertical take-off and landing capability, and the fact that it has zero operating emissions.
In the fourth announcement from Lilium this week, the eVTOL developer and Helity Copter Airlines have agreed to develop an eVTOL network in Andalusia. Helity also plans to purchase five of Lilium’s eVTOLs to to add to its existing fleet of helicopters for delivering premium and business charter flights to its customers. Helity’s services include private charter flights in southern Spain in addition to helicopter shuttle flights between Algeciras, Ceuta, and Málaga.
“Southern Spain attracts a high demand of premium tourism. Combined with Helity’s great local expertise and experience in the operation of helicopters, as well as the hiring of highly-skilled pilots, we have ideal conditions for the development of a sustainable air mobility network in the region,” said Lilium’s CEO, Daniel Wiegand, commenting on the agreement with Helity.
Lilium’s strategic partnership with Bristow included the largest potential order of eVTOL aircraft this week, with Bristow announcing its intent to purchase 50 Lilium Jets. Christopher Bradshaw, Bristow’s President and CEO, stated in the announcement, “Bristow has played a key role in successfully introducing several new VTOL platforms for the past 50+ years, so it is a natural evolution for us to take a leading role in the new and exciting Advanced Air Mobility market.”
Bristow entered into a collaboration with another eVTOL developer, Overair, in December. According to the announcement, Bristow placed pre-orders for up to 50 of Overair’s Butterfly aircraft. The two companies also signed a Memorandum of Understanding indicating their intent to collaborate on creation of an operations development framework.
During a discussion on scaling up to advanced air mobility (AAM) at the Transformative Vertical Flight 2022 event earlier this year, Bristow Group’s Executive Vice President, Sales and Chief Transformation Officer David Stepanek commented on the importance of public acceptance for eVTOL aircraft and other components of AAM. To build and scale a compelling business, “we’re going to have to sell people on sustainability,” he said.
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