LCC Specialist Irelandia Backs Urban Air Mobility Vertiport Firm

Credit: Volocopter

Irelandia Aviation, the company behind five different low-cost carriers around the world, has invested in Skyports, a UK developer of infrastructure for passenger and cargo urban air mobility (UAM).

Led by founder and Managing Partner Declan Ryan, one of the founders of Ryanair, Dublin-based Irelandia has developed four other LCCs: Allegiant Air in the U.S., Singapore-headquartered Tiger Airways, Viva Aerobus in Mexico and Viva Colombia.

The investment from Irelandia extends startup Skyports’ Series A funding round to £6 million ($7.8 million). It joins the Digital Ventures arm of German rail operator Deutsche Bahn, Paris airport operator Groupe ADP and UAM venture fund Levitate Capital in the investment round.

London-based Skyports says it will use the funds to continue its acquisition of sites for passenger and cargo vertiports around the world, including Los Angeles and Singapore, where in October it demonstrated a prototype vertiport with UAM vehicle developer Volocopter. The company also plans to expand its team to enable the full commercialization of urban and rural drone delivery services.

“We at Irelandia look forward to working with Skyports, aviation regulators, manufacturers and operators to expand in new markets, and make UAM and drone services a reality globally,” Ryan said in a statement. “We look forward to furthering Irelandia’s demonstrated track record of democratizing air travel around the world.”

Ryan will take a seat on the Skyports board. “It is a privilege to welcome Declan to our board and testament to our ambition that he will be taking this position. Their investment further strengthens our financial position,” CEO Duncan Walker says.

Graham Warwick

Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.