Luxaviation To Help Lilium Build Regional eVTOL Airlines
Luxembourg-based business aircraft operator Luxaviation Group is to support Lilium in building out the electric regional air mobility startup’s airline operations in Europe.
In addition to manufacturing its Lilium Jet seven-seat electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) air taxi, Lilium intends to operate the aircraft on branded regional networks. The German startup has already announced plans to launch operations in 2024 on its first networks in Germany and Florida.
These regional airline networks will be run by Lilium itself or by local air operator certificate (AOC) holders in certain jurisdictions, the company said in a May 5 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“Both in Europe and the U.S., Lilium intends to collaborate with local AOC holders for its eVTOL operations, and we are in discussions with several major players in both geographies,” the company said in the SEC filing.
With hundreds of aircraft under management and 10 AOCs across Europe, Luxaviation is expected to become responsible for parts of the airline operations being developed by Lilium, the startup said. This includes securing the necessary approvals, managing pilots and helping develop the customer experience.
“This marks a key milestone as we prepare for launch,” said Remo Gerber, Lilium chief operating officer. The startup has announced plans to set up its first networks in Germany through partnerships with Cologne/Bonn, Dusseldorf, Munich and Nuremberg airports.
“As an early believer in advanced air mobility, we look forward to bringing our experience and credentials to the partnership with Lilium and building out a service that will truly feel like a first of its kind,” Christophe Lapierre, Luxaviation Group head of strategy, said in a statement.
The Lilium Jet will be flown by an onboard pilot holding a commercial pilot license. The company is working with Lufthansa Aviation Training to develop a Lilium Jet type-rating training course for qualified commercial pilots. Lilium is also partnered with airport operator Ferrovial on vertiport infrastructure.