LONDON – Air taxis and vertiports will soon be the reality for Malaysia. The Malaysian LCC giant AirAsia Aviation Group Limited’s dedicated unit ‘AirAsia Advanced Air Mobility’, and leading advanced air mobility and infrastructure developer Skyports Infrastructure, have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to explore and develop air taxi infrastructure in Malaysia.
The new partnership between traditional airliner AirAsia and air mobility expert Skyport is seen as an important step in the advancement of urban transportation solution. The new partnership is regarded as an important next step in establishing a fully operational vertiport network in the country.
The AirAsia group has asserted that, as the industry matures, partnership between traditional aviation players and AAM specialists are essential in developing a practical, well-studied, and well-integrated network of vertiports.
Speaking on this occasion, Captain Ling Liong Tien, Chief Safety Officer and Head of Advanced Air Mobility for AirAsia Aviation Group Limited said that “Following the announcement of our venture into the urban air taxi service earlier this year, we have been working around the clock to explore its feasibility in Malaysia.”
“This partnership with Skyports will accelerate the review of the infrastructure including vertical take-off and landing platforms in the country as well as strengthen our potential as a zero-emissions ultra-short-haul air travel provider in Southeast Asia.”
“AirAsia has revolutionised commercial air travel for the past two decades and we look forward to working with Skyports which will put us ahead of the curve and shape the future of autonomous aviation in the region.”
AirAsia being a leading global commercial aviation brand has always shown inclination in diversification in urban transpiration and air mobility options with its active involvement in the operationalisation of advanced air mobility in Malaysia.
With this, the group in past year has announced future plans to lease 100 vertical Aerospace VX4 eVTOL aircrafts from Avolon, along with launching its drone training program. Most recently, the group has extended drone related training to the high technology related sectors, reported the company.
As the new era for Malaysian AAM has begun with this partnership, it is evident that it will draw on AirAsia’s aviation expertise and experience, with tremendous on ground market knowledge and vast network. Similarly, Skyports Infrastructure will be adding value to this partnership with its global portfolio of designing and building take-off and landing infrastructure for eVTOL passenger aircraft.
Skyports’ work will also be regarded as a instrument in advancing regulatory development across markets, through close collaboration with local regulatory bodies and standard setting organisations.
The new partnership has laid out milestone with workflow for the exploration and development of eVTOL and AAM options in Malaysia with initial assessment that will be allocating its priority in Kuala Lumpur.
The yearlong partnership will emphasis on joint feasibility studies for the integration of air taxi vertiport infrastructure, identification of potential vertiport sites and development of operational requirements and frameworks to ultimately implement a vertiport network in Malaysia, stated the press release.
Expressing their view on this occasion, Mr. Yun-Yuan Tay, Head of Asia Pacific for Skyports added that ““We are excited to be partnering with AirAsia, a powerhouse airline operator that brings great synergy to our work at Skyports. This partnership highlights the steady progress of AAM development and interest in Malaysia and the wider APAC region.”
“With innovative and forward-looking partners like AirAsia, we will be able to take concrete steps towards the realisation of a safe, efficient and fully-integrated air taxi network which brings real benefits to the people and communities it serves.”
With diverse portfolios in cities such as Paris, London and Los Angeles, Skyports Infrastructure gained momentum in Asian markets now with this new partnership. Apart from Malaysia, the company is having ongoing partnership in Singapore and Japan for development of Advanced Air Mobility infrastructure.
Air mobility – future air travel
As the world is racing to advancements in the urban mobility sector in metros across the globe, this new partnership has certainly put Malaysia at the top list, as the country has shown openness towards this new era of travel.
With Skyports on its side, it is evident that AirAsia group is dedicated on this stand and are looking to deliver this with positive attitude.