Azul, Brazil's third-largest airline announced on Monday a one billion dollars accord with German manufacturer Lilium for the purchase of 220 of VTOL electric aircraft scheduled to begin operating in 2025.
The strategic association accord anticipates the collaboration of Azul in the development of the Lilium aircraft, the construction of a network of VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) airports in Brazil, exclusive for the company and the 220 units deal.
Through this potential air net, AZUL pretends to increase connectivity in Brazil with an ever innovative plan, the company said in a release to the market which is betting on VTOL aircraft and at the same time strengthening its environmental commitment.
We want to impulse in the most innovative way the economic and social development of Brazil with VTOL aircrafts that are 100% electric and zero CO2 emission, adds the release saying that the company has the most exclusive and sustainable business model in Brazil. As we have done it with the domestic market in the last thirteen years, we expect with the Lilium electric aircraft to again create a totally new market model in the next few years, pointed out Azul CEO John Robertson
Despite having been born in Brazil in 2008, Azul has a 45% share in TAP, Portuguese airlines, controlled by Lisbon, because of its participation in the Gateway consortia, of which the partners are Humberto Pedrosa from Portugal and American-Brazilian David Neeleman, who owns Azul
Azul currently has 160 aircraft, operates 200 routes with 700 daily flights to a hundred destinations, and is the airline with most flights and which flies to the largest number of Brazilian cities.
Lilium which has a model certified by the European Agency of Air Safety, has the intention of developing the air taxis world market with VTOL electric aircraft, and a seven passenger capacity. The Lilium aircraft with electric engines and hardly any noise can operate in densely populated urban areas and cover great distances with minimum emissions. The all electric Lilium jet has an estimated value of US$ 4,5 million.
Brazil is a strong market for business jets and also for chartered helicopter flights, which are commonly used to avoid serious road gridlock in major cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.