Volocopter has made two major announcements this week with regards to the development of its aerial mobility service as well as the testing of its electric air taxi, the VoloCity. The company has teamed with Groupe ADP and RATP Groupe to be the first industrial player to test their full-scale electrical air taxi, the VoloCity, in the Paris Region. Additionally, Volocopter and Japan Airlines (JAL) entered into a cooperation agreement to promote UAM development for next generation air transportation options of passengers and goods.
The agreement outlines that Volocopter and JAL work on permanent sustainable commercial operations of air taxis in Japan. By establishing local partnerships, jointly approaching Japanese cities and prefectures and working on market demand and social acceptance, JAL and Volocopter will prepare for commercial launch in Japan within the next 3 years. JAL will provide their in-depth knowledge accumulated via safe aircraft operation experience to a next-generation air mobility operation platform service. In addition, through air mobility services, JAL aims to deliver medical care in remote areas to achieve key sustainable development goals.
JAL, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, and MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting, who are all invested in Volocopter, also announced a collaboration to accelerate Volocopters entry into the Japanese Market. The collaboration of airline operator, insurance provider, and business development partners as well as an Urban Air Mobility pioneer makes this approach a sustainable and promising one.
Meanwhile, Volocopter’s agreement with Paris region, Groupe ADP and RATP Groupe has promising implications in the current context of environmental transition in air transport, economic recovery, and urban densification. The two have decided to bring together all the conditions to make the emergence of this new mode of transport possible to complement the existing modes, whether for the public or for goods.
“The structuring and development of an Air Mobility branch on the airfield of Pontoise – Cormeilles-en-Vexin is both consistent with the Recovery Plan initiated by Paris Region, and in line with the key takeaways of Paris Region recent COP 2020 conference. It also falls within the scope and priorities of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games. As a result, this event represents an invaluable opportunity to involve the entire Aviation Industry and demonstrate the unique qualities of Paris Region as an area of reference within the global Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market,” according to Valérie Pécresse, President of Paris Region.
“Today, we aim at exploring and enabling the development of all potential futures of a decarbonized and innovative aviation,” noted Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP. “Urban Air Mobility, driven by an all-electric vehicle capable of a vertical takeoff and landing, will be able to take-off and accelerate its development through the establishment of a sandbox at our Pontoise airfield, a unique testing opportunity in Europe. In partnership with Paris Region and RATP group, and in the framework of an international call for expression of interest, we are strongly positioned to federate a unique ecosystem in Paris Region, by combining our infrastructures assets, our know-how and expertise in terms of mobility and our territorial anchoring.”
Why it’s important: The prospect of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games provides an exceptional opportunity to involve an entire industry and to make Paris Region a leader in the global market of Urban Air Mobility. Volocopter, the German electric air taxi company, reinforces the project’s feasibility by bringing its 9 years of aviation experience to the initiative. Simultaneously, the expansion in to operations with JAL is demonstrative of the company’s growing list of industry partners, and its strong reputation. As one of the most punctual major international airlines and a certified 5-Star Airline by Skytrax, JAL is committed to providing customers with the highest levels of flight safety and quality in every aspect of its service, and believes Volocopter can assist in carrying out its mission.
Source // Volocopter press release