The Brazilian carrier GOL Linhas Aereas announced a partnership with Avolon, the leasing company, to commercialize an electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) ride-sharing platform in Brazil. This is the third alliance of the sort taking place in the South American country, following the Azul-Lilium and Embraer-Flapper deals. Let’s investigate further.
An order of 250 eVTOL aircraft
Today, Avolon, GOL, and Grupo Comporte announced their collaboration to “identify and target local partners, infrastructure and certification requirements across a range of commercial models.” They expect to launch one of the world’s first eVTOL ride-sharing businesses.
GOL has committed to purchase or lease up to 250 VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft manufactured by Vertical Aerospace. Brazilian companies have announced their intentions to buy more than 500 eVTOL flying taxis in the last few months.
Azul wants to operate 220 eVTOL aircraft around Brazil with Lilium. Meanwhile, Embraer and Flapper signed a collaboration to have a fleet of up to 25 flying taxis across Latin America. We wrote about the subject in Simple Flying en Español. And now, there’s the GOL-Avolon-Vertical Aerospace agreement.
Brazil is one of the most fertile markets for the eVTOL market in the next decade. It has gigantic cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro that could benefit from on-demand eVTOL services.
Regarding GOL’s latest purchase, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical Aerospace CEO, commented,
“The VA-X4 is ideal for a city like São Paulo with a population of over 22 million people. Our eVTOLs will transform how we travel around high population density cities that are clogged with traffic by taking to the skies with zero-emission aircraft.”
Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon’s CEO, added,
“GOL’s unparalleled market access, coupled with our deep knowledge and relationships in the Brazilian aviation market, leaves us strongly positioned to capitalize on the expected demand for ultra-short-haul transport.”
Vertical Aerospace orders
Vertical Aerospace is one of the most exciting eVTOL companies at the moment. In June 2021, both American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic signed deals to acquire up to 250 and 150 eVTOL aircraft, respectively. Following American Airlines’ enhanced partnership with GOL (including a US$200 million investment), it is not surprising to see the Brazilian airline inking up a deal of its own.
Additionally, Avolon signed a ground-breaking order for up to 500 VA-X4 aircraft. The order has a price of approximately US$2 billion, the company said in a statement. Half of this order has been placed with GOL.
The VA-X4 “will be the most advanced and safest eVTOL in the market on its introduction in 2024,” said Avolon in a statement.
According to Vertical Aerospace, the VA-X4 is a piloted eVTOL vehicle, completely electric. It will be capable of traveling over 200 miles per hour, with a range of over 100 miles. Additionally, it will have the capacity to carry four passengers and a pilot.
Finally, its vertical landing and take-off capabilities will allow the VA-X4 to operate in and out of cities and other confined locations. Additionally, it will be 100 times quieter and safer than a helicopter, said the company.
Are you excited about the eVTOL future in Latin America? Let us know in the comments below.