Japan Airlines (JAL) and Volocopter have entered into a cooperation agreement to promote the development of the urban air mobility industry for next generation air transportation options of passengers and goods.
In February 2020, Japan Airlines Innovation Fund invested in Volocopter, which is aiming to create and bring next-generation electrically powered air taxis and heavy lift cargo drone technology to the market, as part of their Series C funding round. With this agreement, JAL and Volocopter will strengthen their partnership to jointly explore business opportunities for air mobility services, specifically Volocopter’s eVTOL technology, in Japan.
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 three years.
Volocopter is developing urban air taxi services to add a new dimension of mobility to megacities. They are developing next-generation battery powered air taxis and heavy lift drones (eVTOL – electric Vertical Take-off and Landing aircraft). In October 2019, Volocopter successfully performed a piloted flight over Singapore’s Marina Bay and is currently focused on receiving commercial certification for their VoloCity aircraft by the EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency).
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.
Today, 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.