Japan’s second-largest air carrier, Japan Airlines (JAL), is reportedly targeting to launch electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) commercial aircraft operations in fiscal year 2025.
The Tokyo-based airline will partner with German startup Volocopter for its planned eVTOL business operations. JAL signed a cooperation agreement with Mie Prefecture in southern Honshu Island to launch test flights and eventually market the service that would transport people to various destinations like taxis do, according to Nikkei. Asia.
In September 2020, JAL invested in Volocopter, which aims to create and bring to market electric air taxis and heavy transport drone technology. With the agreement, JAL and Volocopter said they will strengthen their partnership to jointly explore business opportunities for air mobility services, in particular eVTOL technology from Volocopter, in Japan.
Volocopter began to develop its vertical take-off and landing aircraft in 2011. The drone-type aircraft called VoloCity, is a two-seater eVTOL with a cruising range of 35 kilometers and a top speed of 110 kilometers per hour. According to Volocopter, the eVTOL is developed in accordance with the requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Volocopter already performed the world’s first autonomous eVTOL flight in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2017, and continued its public test flights at Marina Bay in Singapore in October 2019.
AeroTime News has contacted Japan Airlines for comment and has not received a response at the time of publication.