MIAMI – Avolon and Vertical Aerospace have announced a US$2bn purchase transaction contract for up to 500 electric eVTOL aircraft. As reported by HeliHub, the multinational aircraft leasing firm and the world’s most sophisticated electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) company settled what is the biggest purchase agreement of the new types as of yet.

Although the contract foresees certain closing provisions, it would lead the ultra-short-haul aircraft class into commercial aviation. Moreover, it will yield an adventuresome breakthrough that will “revolutionize the airline industry” with zero-emission aircraft.

The deal will connect Avolon’s expertise and strong industry ties with Vertical’s technological innovation in the eVTOL area. Moreover, it will provide both businesses to work all across the development of VA-X4 and its certification journey, and subsequent commercial roll-out.

Avolon will join Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, and American Airlines (AA) as equity partners in Vertical Aerospace. In addition, it will also collaborate with Virgin Atlantic (VS), which markets itself as a VA-X4 launch customer in Europe.

The mega order demonstrates Avolon’s dedication to sustainability and ethical investing, as well as its role as a global leader and pioneer. Avolon’s commitment to purchase the VA-X4 will bring it to the forefront of technological progress in the industry and demonstrates the company’s conviction in the electrification of air transportation. Avolon’s existing modern and fuel-efficient fleet will be augmented by this huge investment in the category of zero-emission ultra-short-haul aircraft.

Avalon has established a new innovation-focused affiliate, Avolon-e. The company will be the customer of the VA-X4 with the option of acquisition of extra aircraft of up to US$750m subject to appropriate operational, delivery, and business requirements and with delivery beginning in late 2024, will purchase aircraft worth US$1.25bn. Avolon-e was created by Avolon to focus on investments in the eVTOL market for zero emissions.

Avalon and Vertical Aerospace Comments

Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon CEO, commented, “Avolon is proud to be a launch customer for the VA-X4 aircraft, demonstrating our commitment to a net zero carbon economy and to driving innovation in the global aviation sector. Our order with Vertical will also accelerate the inevitable commercial roll-out of zero-emissions aircraft.”

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.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of Vertical Aerospace, commented, “We are delighted to announce this aircraft order with Avolon, one of the leading aircraft lessors in the world. Avolon’s proven management team and strong track record of starting, and scaling, a global leading business made this an attractive opportunity and represents a critical milestone for us.”

“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.”

Vertical Aerospace’s VA-X4. Image: Vertical Aerospace

About Vertical Aerospace’s VA-X4

The VA-X4 is a manned eVTOL, with no harmful emissions. With a range of over 100 miles and seating for four passengers and one pilot, the VA-X4 can cruise at more than 200mph.

The airplane vertically disembarks to and from cities and other limited places. Surprisingly, the VA-X4 is 100 times quieter and safer than a helicopter and is accredited to the highest global market access criteria.

Featured image: VA-X4. Photo: Avolon