Marubeni, a Japanese industrial development company, has signed a deal to purchase 25 eVTOL aircraft from Vertical Aerospace, with options to purchase 200 in total.
Marubeni has ambitious plans to develop Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) networks throughout Japan, and other areas in Asia. Already, the company has conducted a proof-of-conceptions operation in Osaka, Japan, using traditional helicopters. It also has begun making pre-delivery payments on eVTOL aircraft from Vertical.
The two companies have formed a joint working group to plan how eVTOL aircraft and infrastructure can best be integrated into Japan’s existing transportation network.
In particular, Marubeni hopes to launch Aerial Mobility services using Vertical’s eVTOL at the Osaka World Expo 2025. To prepare for the event, the company conducted trials of flights from Osaka heliport to Wakayama using existing helicopters at future expected AAM service prices, to prove the concept for these future services.
Throughout the demonstration trials in Osaka, Marubeni began addressing public awareness, acceptance, and requirements for future eVTOL services in the prefecture.
Satoshi Takechi, general manager, Aviation, Space & Defense Department at Marubeni, said: “I am confident that our continued joint efforts with Vertical Aerospace, such as evaluating the requirements for eVTOL operations and engaging the potential partners under the Joint Working Group, together with this new agreement, will accelerate the development of the AAM market in Japan. Marubeni will further enhance activities to materialise our business, which aims to make air travel more accessible and convenient, while simultaneously contributing to climate change mitigation measures, including low-carbon and decarbonisation initiatives.”
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical founder and CEO, said: “We are delighted to have reached the next milestone in our partnership with Marubeni. Japan is a wonderful country which is embracing the promise of eVTOL, as it will connect cities and regions like never before. We look forward to our joint efforts to build the ecosystem for zero-emissions travel in Japan.”
Why it’s important: The interest and collaboration of Marubeni with Vertical Aerospace further confirms Japan as high-potential launch market for eVTOL operations and overall aerial mobility. Notably, this agreement has made Marubeni the first Japanese company to make a major pre-purchase for eVTOL aircraft from Vertical Aerospace, joining American companies like American Airlines.
Source // Vertical Aerospace
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