Airplane passengers can enjoy a different flight experience by using an electric plane operated by AirAsia. Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes said he had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to lease a minimum of 100 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon.
Tony said the eVTOL aircraft will enable AirAsia to revolutionize air travel by providing more sophisticated air mobility services to different passenger segments. The use of this aircraft at the same time transforms the way people transport in their daily lives more efficiently. In addition to eVTOL aircraft, Avolon, through its investment and innovation affiliate Avolon-e, will partner with AirAsia to commercialize the eVTOL emission-free aircraft and develop an urban air mobility (‘UAM’) platform in Southeast Asia.
Avolon and AirAsia will form a working group for local certification arrangements, conducting research on potential market opportunities and infrastructure requirements for UAM development. AirAsia will also utilize its travel and lifestyle application, the airasia Super App, to support the development of a ride-sharing platform using eVTOL aircraft with Avolon.
“Innovation has always been in our DNA. Our main focus at Capital A is leveraging technology to be more efficient and sustainable. Now we have transformed into more than just an airline with more than 20 products and services in our super app that are integrated with each other,” he said.
AirAsia’s transformation includes the aviation, hotel, food, retail, delivery, ride-hailing and other industries. Tony Fernandes is optimistic that this collaboration between Avolon and AirAsia will drive the emission-free short-haul air travel market in Southeast Asia.
“We have entered the digital era. We believe the VX4 will be the eVTOL aircraft of choice and we are delighted to be the first airline to use this type of aircraft in Southeast Asia,” he added.
By June 2021, Avolon had ordered 500 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Vertical Aerospace for US$2 billion. From these orders, Avolon has received rental orders for VX4 aircraft from Gol and Grupo Compore Brazil for 250 units, from Japan Airlines up to 100 units, and at least 100 units from AirAsia. With this, Avolon has booked requests for up to 90 PERCENT of the total number of aircraft on its initial order list, which also shows the great interest of the world’s leading airlines in the VX4 aircraft.
Avolon CEO Dómhnal Slattery acknowledged that Tony Fernandes was a pioneer in the aviation world, who had built AirAsia into one of the world’s leading airlines, and has now launched Southeast Asia’s fastest growing super app focused on travel. “Together, we will develop a ride-sharing platform and introduce emission-free VX4 flight services. This also places AirAsia as a sustainable air travel operator in the region,” he said