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May 27, 2024
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German eVTOL-maker Lilium expects to secure more commercial airline orders at the Paris Airshow next month on the back of the confirmation of orders from ASL Group and Air-Dynamic at EBACE in Geneva this week. Lilium confident to secure more firm orders at Paris Airshow.

Belgian-based business jet operator ASL Group today confirmed an order for six Lilium Jets. It was announced as a Memorandum of Understanding at last year’s Farnborough Airshow. ASL Group intends to operate the eVTOLs in its core markets in Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, and cross-border regions in Western Germany. The company currently operates 45 executive jets but thinks that the Liliums offer a new and sustainable way to reduce emissions.

“Our company is constantly seeking new ways to operate responsibly and contribute to a healthy future, both socially and ecologically,” says CEO Philippe Bodson. “The Lilium Jet is a great opportunity to provide better value to our customers in a sustainable way. With zero operating emissions, vertical take-off landing capability, and a spacious premium cabin, Lilium represents the best option on the market.” 

Potential orders for 645 aircraft

On Tuesday, Switzerland-based private jet and helicopter operator Air-Dynamic announced an order for five Pioneer Editions at EBACE. The company intends to operate the eVTOLs between Lugano in Switzerland and Milan (Italy) as well as on routes to the French Cote d’Azur and French Alps. Like ASL Group, Air-Dynamic sees the Lilium as a new technology and sustainable vehicle that will help it to grow its business.

The ASL Group and Air-Dynamic orders bring firm orders and options for the Lilium Pioneer Edition to 31, but the company expects to sell fifty vehicles before the end of the year. Each Lilium comes with a price tag of $10 million. Both companies have made pre-delivery payments.

Lilium customer map

The Munich-based company says in its latest shareholder letter that it is in advanced discussion with several large commercial airlines for orders. It hopes to conclude some agreements at the Paris Airshow. Our total order pipeline represents potential sales of up to 645 Lilium Jets from various customers across Europe, South America, the Middle East and the United States. We expect to convert further existing commercial MoUs into binding aircraft purchase agreements in the near term.”

The shareholder letter says that Lilium has customer agreements with Azul, NetJets, Bristow, AAP Aviation, eVolare, ASL Group, Air-Dynamic, GlobeAir, Ifly, Helity, and Saudia.

On-track for certification

Lilium says it is on track to meets its target to certify the Lilium Jet in 2025. Based on technical progress and EASA regulatory advancements, we remain on track towards our key milestones – start of final assembly of the type-conforming aircraft this year, first manned flight in the second half of 2024, and type certification in late 2025.”

It has reached 78 percent of the Means of Compliance under the EASA certification program, following approval by the regulator of key elements like the propulsion and energy system. The remainder is set to be concluded in the second half of this year. Lilium also expects to receive Design Organization Approval from EASA later this year, after a final audit that is planned for June.

lilium Jet interior

Lilium is currently testing the aircraft in the Dutch/German wind tunnel in The Netherlands in a full configuration with engines and actuators. The four to six-seater Lilium Jet is different from other eVTOLs in that it has two fixed wings and two canards at the nose, in which thirty small electric engines or ducted fans are integrated that can tilt for vertical lift and horizontal thrust. Tests of the engines, that have been developed together with Honeywell and Denso, are being tested in Aachen (Germany).

Production of parts for the first prototype has started. Lilium says that approximately 85 percent of the total expected aircraft bill of materials cost has been selected or contracted. “By identifying these partners, Lilium is gaining increasing visibility on program cost, quality, capacity, and their contribution to future profitability.”

Key suppliers include Aciturri and Aernnova (aerostructures), Aeronamic (engine rotor blades and engine shaft), Astronics (energy management system), Collins Aerospace (inceptors), CustomCells (battery cells), Diehl (aircraft interior), Expliseat (seats), GKN Aerospace (Electrical Wiring Interconnection System), Honeywell (avionics and flight control computer), Honeywell and Denso (e-motors), L3 Harris (data recorder), Magnaghi Aeronautica (landing gear), Perryman (titanium material).

New equity capital

Earlier this month, Lilium closed an equity capital placement to raise the first $100 million of financing to support the development path. Another $75 million of additional capital will be funded contingent on Lilium raising $75 million of equity, debt or grants from third parties. The company intends to raise up to $250 million.

“Lilium is in advanced discussions with various investors, government agencies, and strategic partners on the $75 million third-party raise and confident to trigger the matching $75 million committed investment in the near term. Furthermore, Lilium is in active dialogue with multiple stakeholders on yet additional funding beyond the recently announced capital raise. We are encouraged by the progress of these discussions.”

author avatar
Addison Schonland
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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