Breaking: American Airlines And Virgin Atlantic Buy Up To 400 Flying Taxis

Today, both American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic signed deals with Vertical Aerospace to acquire up to 250 and…

Breaking: American Airlines And Virgin Atlantic Buy Up To 400 Flying Taxis

Today, both American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic signed deals with Vertical Aerospace to acquire up to 250 and 150 electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, respectively. Let’s investigate further.

American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic will buy up to 400 flying taxis. Photo: American Airlines

American and Virgin bet on flying taxis

American Airlines announced today it will invest US$25 million in Vertical Aerospace, a leading UK-headquartered business developing eVTOL aircraft. The US carrier aims to help the development of emerging technologies that allow reduced carbon emissions.

Similarly, Virgin Atlantic announced today the purchase of between 50 to 150 eVTOL aircraft; the company will also explore the possibility of a Joint Venture with Vertical Aerospace.

These two announcements are huge and show the promise that eVTOL technology has as the future of urban transportation.

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, also signed a ground-breaking order for up to 500 eVTOL aircraft. The order has a price of approximately US$2 billion, said the company in a statement.

In just one day, Vertical Aerospace became the single most important player in the eVTOL market.

Vertical Aerospace Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic could explore the possibility of a Joint Venture with Vertical Aerospace. Photo: Virgin Atlantic

What are the companies saying?

We’re entering a fascinating period in the history of aviation. Last week, we saw United Airlines signing a massive deal to possibly bring back the supersonic jet era. Recently, Embraer also announced an order for 200 of Eve’s eVTOL aircraft. Now, American, Virgin, and Avolon sign massive deals to acquire Vertical Aerospace’s new flying taxis.

Derek Kerr, Chief Financial Officer at American, said,

“Emerging technologies are critical in the race to reduce carbon emissions, and we are excited to partner with Vertical to develop the next generation of electric aircraft.”

Meanwhile, Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO, said the possible Joint Venture with Vertical would bring short-haul, electric vehicle connectivity to cities and UK airport hubs. He pointed out some places like London Heathrow, Manchester, and London Gatwick.

Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon CEO, commented,

“Avolon is proud to be a launch customer for the VA-X4 aircraft, demonstrating our commitment to a net-zero carbon economy.”

He added this order would accelerate the inevitable commercial roll-out of zero-emission aircraft. Before the end of this decade, zero-emission urban air mobility will be possible, he foretold.

American Airlines eVTOL
Electrification will transform the history of flying. Photo: American Airlines.

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Learning about the new VA-X4

Electrification will transform flying in the 21st century as the jet engine did 70 years ago, said Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical chief executive and founder.

Vertical Aerospace has created the VA-X4. This eVTOL is fully electric and promises zero emissions. It will be a near-silent aircraft with a range of over 100 miles. According to the company, it will be able to carry four passengers and a pilot.

The VA-X4 has four tilting advance rotors at the front and stowable rotors at the rear. It is capable of speeds over 200 mph (321 km/h).

Virgin Atlantic has said that this aircraft will enable sustainable, price competitive, regional connectivity. For instance, it will reduce the 56-mile journey from Cambridge to London Heathrow to just 22 minutes. Nowadays it is one hour 30 minute drive by road.

Likewise, Virgin sees a market of 37 towns and cities within 100 miles of London Heathrow which would be served perfectly by the VA-X4. The airline believes it could transfer up to 7.7 million customers outside of London to Heathrow.

Vertical Aerospace plans to have its first test flight of the VA-X4 later this year. The aircraft certification could come as early as 2024, and deliveries would start that year, said Avolon and American.

Are you excited about this latest development? Let us know in the comments. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Southwest Airlines Adds New Destinations While Extending Schedule

Southwest Airlines will be back flying to all of its early 2020 international destinations by mid-November. The news…

Southwest Airlines Adds New Destinations While Extending Schedule

Southwest Airlines will be back flying to all of its early 2020 international destinations by mid-November. The news is part of a bundle of announcements Southwest Airlines made on Thursday. On the same day, the airline also confirmed new domestic flights to Bellingham, Washington, and Syracuse, New York.

Southwest announced flights to several new and resuming destinations on Thursday. Photo: Southwest Airlines

Southwest heading back to Belize City, Nassau, Grand Cayman, and Providenciales

Southwest intends to resume services to all of its previously served international destinations by November 7, 2021. The airline is already flying to several destinations in the Caribbean and Central America. In addition, services to Belize City (BZE) will resume on November 7, services to Grand Cayman (GCM), Nassau (NAS), and Providenciales (PLS) will resume on October 7.

Flights to Grand Cayman, Nassau, and Providenciales will operate daily to and from Fort Lauderdale (FLL). Commencing November 7, Southwest Airlines will resume flights between Fort Lauderdale and Cancun (CUN) and Montego Bay (MBJ). These flights will also operate daily.

But it is not all about Fort Lauderdale. Houston also sees an international service resume. Southwest’s service to Belize City will fly daily from Houston’s Hobby Airport (HOU). Flights between Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Cancun will commence on November 7. This is a seasonal service, complementing Southwest’s existing Cancun from Chicago Midway (MDW), and will operate over the upcoming northern winter.

This winter, Southwest will offer more flights from more airports in chilly Chicago down to Cancun. Photo: Southwest Airlines

Cancun is getting a lot of love from Southwest Airlines. The airline says they’ll fly to Cancun from 17 airports across the United States this upcoming winter. That also includes a Saturday only service from Kansas City (MCI), beginning November 13.

Other new Saturday only international services include flights between Denver (DEN) and Liberia (LIR), Costa Rica, flights between St Louis (STL) and San Juan (SJU), Puerto Rico, and flights between Buffalo/Niagara Falls (BUF) and San Juan. All of these flights will kick off on November 13.

Southwest expands its footprint across the United States

At the same time, Southwest Airlines is significantly expanding its footprint across the United States. Beginning November 14, the airline will start flying three times a day between Baltimore/Washington (BWI) and Syracuse (SYR).

“Our latest destination in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York not only allows New Yorkers easier access to our growing network but brings the offerings of Upstate New York to our existing customers,” says Southwest’s Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Watterson.

From November 7, Bellingham (BLI) will start hosting Southwest flights from Las Vegas (LAS) and Oakland (OAK). The Las Vegas flights will operate daily, while the Oakland flights will run twice daily. Southwest Airlines hopes their new Bellingham services will prove a hit with travelers heading to southern British Columbia.

Southwest Airlines is increasing its footprint across the United States. Photo: Southwest Airlines

Southwest had previously announced it was ramping up its flights to Hawaii from Los Angeles (LAX), Las Vegas, and Phoenix (PHX). On Thursday, the airline also added a new flight between Sacramento (SMF) and Kona (KOA) on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, starting December 19.

Sacramento will also see a new daily Southwest service to Palm Springs (PSP) from October 7. From November 7, the airline will also connect Palm Springs to Dallas Love Field (DAL) with a weekly Sunday service (with additional services during peak periods). Over east, Reagan National Airport (DCA) will see daily Southwest services to Sarasota (SRQ) from November 7. On the same day, five day a week services between Sarasota and New York’s La Guardia Airport (LGA) will kick-off.

Southwest Airlines says these destinations are proving popular, and the new flights are all about offering their passengers easier access and more choices. Either way, November is going to be a big month at Southwest.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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