LONDON – AirAsia Aviation Group announced its plan for low-cost air ridesharing services to link Southeast Asia as it signs a non-binding deal with lessor Avolon for 100 Vertical Aerospace VX4 electrical vehicles.
Chief Executive of AirAsia parent Capital A, Tony Fernandes announced that flights could start by 2025, with regulators in Malaysia and Singapore likely to approve operations far more quickly than in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
Mr. Fernandes asserted that the air ridesharing services can be booked through AirAsia mobile app and will be offered at an accessible price, just as the budget carrier had done for its regular flights.
“We don’t want this to be an exclusive product, we want everyone to be able to use this product,” Mr. Fernandes told reporters.
Avalon has ordered 500 VX4 VTOL aircraft from Vertical Aerospace in 2021 and has since placed 90% of its inventory with AirAsia, Japan Airlines, and Brazil’s Gol and Grupo Corporate.
VX4 will be equipped to carry up to four passengers and is expected to have an operational range beyond 100 miles (160KM), and it is one of the entrants in the rapidly growing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) sector. Domhnal Slattery, CEO, and Chairman at Avolon has expressed that Vertical Aerospace’s VX4 test flight would begin by April this year.
With this positive event taking place in the aviation ecosystem, it would be worth looking forward to the upcoming trends in regulations, law, and overall operational environment that could smoothen the eVTOL revolution.