Breaking: American Airlines & 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 & 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-headquarter business, developing eVTOL aircraft. The US carrier aims to help the development of emerging technologies that allow reducing 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.

American Airlines eVTOL
Avolon also signed a massive deal for 500 electric aircraft. Photo: American Airlines.

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.

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 minutes drive by road.

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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Colombian Viva Launches New Livery And Brand

In the past few days, the Colombian low-cost airline Viva has renewed its brand and liveries. The company…

Colombian Viva Launches New Livery And Brand

In the past few days, the Colombian low-cost airline Viva has renewed its brand and liveries. The company shortened its name from Viva Air to just Viva and received a brand new A320neo with new colors. Let’s investigate further.

Viva’s brand new livery. What do you think about it? Photo: Viva

Why the change in the brand?

Viva turned nine years old recently. The low-cost company has grown a lot since the launch of operations out of Medellin International Airport. Now, it is a consolidated airline in Colombia and Peru; it is also planning to turn into a sort of low-cost hub-and-spoke carrier in South America.

The airline has big plans, recently launching flights to Mexico and the US. Plus, it is also seeking new routes to countries like Argentina.

While putting all these plans into motion, Viva also decided to launch a new brand and livery, plus shorten its name. During a webinar at CAPA’s June live event, Viva’s CEO, Felix Antelo, explained,

“Many of the plans that we have, we’re supposed to be executed at this time last year; that included the rebranding and the new website for the airline. So now we have this new plane with this new image, which is completely different.”

Indeed, it is different. Viva’s old colors were red, blue, and yellow. This new plane is primarily yellow. Felix Antelo said this color would help people differentiate Viva from local competitors in Colombia and Peru.

He added that the new livery is fresh, young, disruptive, and blends nicely with the fancy blue on the letters.

Viva website
Viva launched a new website. Photo: Viva.

New website as well

In the last few weeks, Viva has also launched a brand new website. Viva is already having good results from this action, said Felix Antelo.

The traffic to the new website has increased by 50%, and the conversion rate has gone up by more than 40%, he added.

Moreover, the company is planning on launching a new app in the next week. Viva’s CEO said,

“That’s going to be communicated next week. Now, Viva is a brand that it’s short, uplifting, easy to understand in Spanish and English. We’re delighted.”

Viva Air Colombia
These were Viva’s old colors and brand. Photo: Getty Images.

How’s the recovery going for Viva?

Colombia is shaping up to have a V-shaped recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, despite political unrest. Viva has had a particularly good bounce back in the last few months.

By March 2021, the airline was already operating 20% more seats than in 2019. So far, Viva has carried 1.3 million passengers, only 13% below its 2019 levels. It has leveled up with LATAM Colombia, and both are battling for second place in the country.

Felix Antelo said that Viva’s decisive actions, trying to stimulate the market, have been critical to the recovery. When the carrier saw a stall in Colombia due to the political unrest in the country, it took out domestic seats and put them on international routes, for instance.

Viva also took advantage of medical tourism. The carrier put extra capacity on routes to Miami so that passengers could get their COVID-19 vaccines in the US.

For the next few weeks, Viva expects a more stable situation. The airline hopes for a good high season between July and August, with an increase in demand.

Do you like Viva’s new colors and brand? Let us know in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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