Having recently dialed up work on its Airbus CityAirbus eVTOL aircraft, Airbus has now announced a partnership with ITA Airways, a premier airline in Italy, to begin exploring the creation of urban aerial mobility services in the country.
Above: The Airbus CityAirbus NextGen, featured with potential ITA Airways branding
The new partnership between ITA and Airbus will ‘identify strategic use cases for emission-free mobility solutions’ in Italy, foreseeing a joint approach of the two companies in onboarding additional Italian mobility stakeholders for the launch of Airbus’ CityAirbus eVTOL operations. Together, the two companies will also identify pilot use cases in Italy, with the aim of bolstering public acceptance of UAM via demonstrations of the value these services could add to communities.
It is possible that Airbus and ITA will consider options such as implementing Airbus eVTOL aircraft for ITA airliner passengers to travel directly to and from large airports to vertiports in the centers of metropolitan areas.
Said Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, “This agreement is testimony to the strong relationship between Airbus and ITA Airways. It is an opportunity to leverage our shared ambition – pioneering sustainable aerospace – and advance new air mobility solutions for zero-emission vertical flight in support of our cities and communities later this decade.”
Alfredo Altavilla, Chairman of ITA Airways, commented: “The partnership between ITA Airways and Airbus started with the evolution toward more modern, more comfortable and environmentally-friendly commercial aircraft, equipped with cutting-edge technologies. With this agreement, our partnership expands to the segment of urban air mobility for a wider, customer-centric, innovative and sustainable offer for our customers.”
Why it’s Important: The establishment of this partnership signals Airbus’ readiness to begin creating the organizational infrastructure that will be required to support upcoming UAM services. Most recently, Airbus has been collecting manufacturing and development partners for its aircraft (such as Thales, Dhiehl, and Spirit Aerosystems), but this partnership with ITA is Airbus’ first in the world of air passenger transport companies. Overall, this partnership likely means that Airbus is getting closer than ever to a commercially ready eVTOL aircraft, to the point where it is ready to begin setting up commercial operator partnerships.
Source // Airbus