World’s largest electric aircraft order
June 11, 2021 - International aircraft leasing company Avolon, American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic have announced a $4 billion deal for up to 1,000 VA-X4 electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft from British-based Vertical Aerospace.
Vertical also announced plans for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Broadstone Acquisition Corp.
Under the terms of the pre-order deals announced on Thursday (June 10), American has provisionally agreed to take 250 aircraft, with options for 100 more. Avolon has committed to 310 aircraft, plus options for a further 190.
Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic said it had agreed on an option to purchase up to 150 aircraft from Vertical. It is planning to create a Virgin Atlantic-branded short-haul eVTOL network in the UK.
Vertical’s VA-X4 aircraft seats up to four passengers and can fly over 160km (100 miles) at speeds of up to 241km/h (200 miles per hour).
American is not the first U.S. airline to invest in an eVTOL startup. United Airlines said in February that it would purchase 200 aircraft from Palo Alto, California-based Archer Aviation.
Archer also debuted its Maker vehicle at a glitzy event on Thursday evening in California.