TOKYO – Japan Airlines has partnered with Irish aircraft leasing company Avolon Holdings to launch a flying car business in Japan.
Under the terms of the agreement, JAL will have the right to purchase or lease up to 50 eVTOL, or electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. The machines are developed by Vertical Aerospace Group, based in the UK.
The partnership also includes an option for JAL to purchase an additional 50 eVTOL aircraft.
JAL also announced that it has placed an order with German air taxi startup Volocopter for up to 100 flying cars and drones. Last year, the Japanese transporter took a stake in the German company, which manufactures flying cars and other equipment.
The Japanese company intends to review the before offering flights to the Osaka World Expo in 2025 and elsewhere.
JAL plans to offer a passenger transport service using flying cars, starting in fiscal year 2025, taking advantage of its expertise in air transport. The airline has already launched a passenger transportation service connecting airports to tourist destinations in Mie Prefecture, western Japan, to test the business model and flight routes. The company hopes the company will become an alternative to taxis and other traditional means of transportation.
The Japanese government is working on regulations for flying cars for use in intercity transportation in the 2030s. Rival ANA Holdings aims to launch similar services in fiscal year 2025.