Japan Airlines (JAL) and Volocopter GmbH have entered into a new cooperation agreement to promote the development of the urban air mobility industry for next generation passenger and cargo air transportation.
In February 2020, Japan Airlines Innovation Fund invested in Volocopter with the aim to jointly explore business opportunities for air mobility services, specifically Volocopter’s eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft) 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 currently developing urban air taxi services to add a new dimension of mobility to megacities. The company is working on next-generation battery powered air taxis and heavy lift drones. In October 2019, Volocopter successfully performed a piloted flight over Singapore’s Marina Bay and is currently focused on receiving commercial certification for its VoloCity aircraft by the EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency).
JAL says that it will provide 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.