NetJets this week announced its plans to purchase 150 of Lilium’s eVTOL aircraft per a recently released memorandum of understanding (MOU). The news came in a February 28th statement to investors and stated that NetJets would also operate the eVTOL aircraft as part of its existing Part 135 charter network.
NetJets is currently one of the world’s largest private jet charter companies, selling membership programs that allow customers to book flights on a large range of private jets. Its fleet includes over 750 aircraft, and flights can be booked with as little as 10 hours notice.
“We are very excited to be working together with the world’s largest private jet company, NetJets,” said Lilium vice president of business Sebastien Borel. “The U.S. market will be a good test for us to see how far we can go. But it’s meant to be global, and we’re confident this will drive us to be global.”
This announcement comes after Lilium previously told investors that it plans to build an eVTOL network in central and southern Florida to connect larger cities with new and existing vertiport infrastructure. It is likely NetJets will partner with Lilium on this operation in Florida and could even help in selling some Lilium eVTOLs to private owners.
Lilium hopes to certify its eVTOL and begin passenger transport by 2024. Its latest prototype is a six-passenger aircraft capable of cruise at 175mph for a range of 162 nautical miles per flight.
Learn more about the Lilium eVTOL jet here.
Why it matters: NetJets, one of the largest operators in the fractional ownership/jet-card space, has extensive experience in the Part 135 industry and will be an extraordinary partner for Lilium’s operations. Lilium has also secured partnerships with Brazilian airline Azul, and even with Lufthansa for pilot training. With these extensive partners and its expert team, Lilium (and the eVTOL industry altogether) may well start receiving even greater interest from investors.