Eve Signs Up Two Australian Helo Operators For eVTOL Buys

Credit: Embraer

SINGAPORE—Embraer’s Eve Air Mobility has signed letters of intent for the purchase of up to 90 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft with two major Australian helicopter operators and agreed to prepare a concept for operations in Tokyo with several Japanese partners, including the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau.

The announcement was made at the Singapore Airshow, held Feb. 14-18.

Among the two agreements is a deal for 50 of the aircraft with HeliSpirit, a large helicopter operator in Western Australia, operating a mix of tourism, charter and regular public transport services in the state, the Northern Territory and South Australia. Microflite Helicopter Services, based in Melbourne, signed a letter of intent for up to 40 aircraft.

Eve is developing an initially four-seat eVTOL that is planned to be certified in 2025 and should enter service in 2026. The aircraft’s range of up to 100 km is supposed to enable it to operate in large metropolitan areas, with helicopter replacement seen as a big part of its market potential. Eve claims the vehicle’s operating costs will be one-sixth of a typical helicopter on a similar mission.

For Singapore, Co-CEO André Stein sees a potential for more than 200 eVTOLs operating from more than 30 vertiports on around 3,000 flights per day. The market includes shuttles from Changi airport to the city center. Trips across the island that typically take an hour by car could be done in little more than 10 min. using the aircraft.

Eve recently completed a trial in Rio de Janeiro that was to replicate operations of typical missions in a big metropolitan area. Around 200 flights were performed using a conventional helicopter, but on a new route that would be used by eVTOLs and flown at speeds to be expected. The flights went from the Barra de Tijuca area to Galeao International Airport, simulating typical shuttles to an international hub, including at, rather than in front of, the airport to cut back on travel times. Sao Paolo is seen as one of the biggest markets for eVTOLs, given the large role that helicopters already play today in the commuter market.

But Stein said Tokyo also “is well positioned as one of the early adopters” of the model. He estimated that more than 1,000 eVTOLs could operate in the city, thus the study for the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau. The work includes Skyports, a future vertiport operator, Kanematsu Corporation and Japan Airlines. Kanematsu is a large, Tokyo-based group that already has an aerospace division handling aircraft, helicopters and components on behalf of Japanese government agencies. The company has said it wants to expand into aerospace.

Eve has letters of intent for more than 1,700 of its eVTOLs.

Jens Flottau

Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Jens is executive editor and leads Aviation Week Network’s global team of journalists covering commercial aviation.