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June 15, 2024
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EVE Urban Air Mobility Solutions and Singapore-based UAM-startup Ascent have joined forces to accelerate the development of the market for ‘flying taxis’ in the Asia-Pacific region. As such, Embraer’s startup EVE makes another step, having made a raft of announcements earlier in June. It also confirms the trend of ongoing UAM news this month, when Vertical Aerospace andArcher Aerospace made headlines last week.

EVE was established by Embraer as an independent company in October 2020, having been part of the EmbraerX market accelerator program since 2017 under the Uber Elevate Network. The Melbourne (Florida)-based company said in March that it was looking for strategic partners and announced the first one on June 1 with Halo to develop UAM services in the US and the UK. The helicopter specialist also placed a launch order for 200 eVTOL aircraft for delivery from 2026.

Within a week on June 7, EVE joined forced with Helisul Aviation in Brazil to develop the UAM market in Embraer’s home country. Helisul, one of the largest helicopter operators in Latin America, also placed an order for fifty eVTOLs. It intends to disrupt the air taxi infrastructure market, which is already well-established in Brazil.

Another week on, and EVE today announced the partnership with Ascent. The Singapore company runs operations such as air taxis, tourist and cargo flights as well as medical services in The Philippines and Thailand. It will offer to EVE its knowledge and database of the UAM markets it is active.

EVE in merger talks with Zanite 

Behind the scenes, EVE is also working hard to secure its financial position. On June 10, it confirmed in a securities filing that the company is in talks with Zanite Acquisition Corp ZNTE about a potential merger worth $2 billion. Zanite is led by Kenn Ricci, who through Directional Aviation Capital controls private business aviation company Flexjet. Connecting to EVE could open up a whole new market for Flexjet.

While subject to completion, the negotiations between EVE and Zanite confirm the trend that the eVTOL market is seen as one with high potential with special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC). Last week, Vertical Aerospace CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick said that in the last months he witnessed high interest from SPACs to invest. One of them, Broadstone Acquisitions Company, partnered last week with Vertical and will bring it to the New York Stock Exchange.

While still a long way off its first flight, the EVE four-seater performed a virtual first flight in July last year while its design was validated in October. EVE also leads a consortium that together with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) studies various concepts of how to operate UAMs safely over urban and regional areas. Vertical Aerospace is also part of the consortium, like Volocopter, NATS, and Skyports. Plus London Heathrow and London City Airports, as they are to become essential hubs for eVTOLs within the London area.

Update June 25:
EVE announced on June 24 that has made an arrangement with Blade Air Mobility for the use of up to 60.000 hours of flight time of its eVTOL aircraft in Florida and the US West Coast from 2026. Blade will pay for the flight time for each of the sixty aircraft that EVE plans to deploy in the US. The arrangement is subject to final agreements.

author avatar
Richard Schuurman
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016. Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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