Japan Airlines has announced a signed memorandum of understanding with Bell Textron and Sumitomo Corporation to explore Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and to foster the required infrastructure and regulatory environment.
The collaboration will inform the development of an on-demand air mobility ecosystem utilising Bell’s air mobility solutions including Bell’s Air Taxi, the Nexus 4EX, in Japan.
Tomohiro Nishihata, Managing Executive Officer of Innovation, Japan Airlines, stated: “Japan Airlines is eager to explore the future of air travel beyond its existing framework, and we believe this is the right team to set the standard in Japan for future cities to implement urban air mobility systems.”
Scott Drennan, Vice President of Innovation, Bell, added: “We are excited to take this substantial step to bring together an international airline, a major infrastructure provider, and a VTOL OEM to work collaboratively on a more connected mobility future. While we are known for our 80 years of creating vertical lift aircraft that move people, goods, and data, we also want to help shape the operational infrastructure in which they will live.”
Sumitomo, a Japan-based global enterprise focused on enriching lives and the world, is working to leverage its broad business portfolio spanning metal products, transportation and construction systems, infrastructure, media and digital, living related and real estate, and mineral resources, energy, and chemicals to support the development of the necessary infrastructure and business use cases for air mobility. “We have been inspired by Bell’s vision and their capability of penetrating into this urban air mobility market,” said Sumitomo’s Executive Officer of Lease, Ship & Aerospace Business Division Eiji Ishida. “All three companies bring a unique perspective, and we are excited to work together toward this new future.”
Together, the companies will develop policy and planning recommendations, identify entry into service use cases and pilot programmes, and develop infrastructure requirements that integrate into both current and future transportation systems and city standards to provide safe, accessible and sustainable multi-modal transportation system to communities.