Lessor Avolon in eVTOL aircraft deal with Turkey’s Gozen Holding
(In para 4, corrects to show that Vertical Aerospace not Avolon went public)
(Reuters) -Irish aircraft leasing company Avolon said on Tuesday it had set up a partnership with Turkish aviation group Gozen Holding to pioneer eVTOL flying in Turkey using aircraft it plans to buy from Britain’s Vertical Aerospace.
Under the deal, the parent of Turkish charter firm Freebird Airlines will buy or lease up to 50 electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVOTL) aircraft from Avolon, with options to purchase or lease another 50.
The idea is to use the new “flying taxi” technology to leapfrog chronic traffic jams in Istanbul, one of the world’s most congested cities, and connect the city of 15 million people to nearby Turkish tourist resorts, Avolon said in a statement.
The Dublin-based leasing firm, headed by Domhnal Slattery, is among the launch customers for up to 1,000 eVOTL aircraft being developed by Vertical Aerospace which went public in New York in December after completing a $2.2 billion SPAC deal with Broadstone Acquisition Corp.
In June last year, Avolon ordered 500 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from the Bristol-based company and went on to announce deals to place them with Japan Airlines, AirAsia, and GOL in Brazil.
Avolon said that with the Gozen placement, its launch order for the aircraft had been oversubscribed by 50 options.
The deals reflect growing interest in battery-powered aircraft that can take off and land vertically, offering a new way for travellers to beat traffic and hop between cities.
Analysts warn the industry faces regulatory hurdles and uncertainty over the timetable for certification.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Leslie Adler)