Brazilian domestic carrier Azul and electric aircraft manufacturer Lilium Air Mobility have announced a $1 billion deal to establish a network of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft across the country.
The agreement would create a strategic alliance between the two companies, with Azul purchasing and operating 220 seven-seater Lilium Jets beginning in 2025. Azul would maintain the aircraft while Lilium would provide an aircraft health monitoring platform, replacement batteries and other custom spare parts.
The deal is subject to both parties finalizing commercial terms, according to the announcement from Lilium. The Munich-based firm has previously announced plans to launch networks in Germany through partnerships with Munich, Nuremberg, Dusseldorf, and Cologne Bonn airports.
Brazil “is currently one of the world’s leading civilian helicopter and business aviation markets,” with nearly 100 million domestic air passengers each year, according to Lilium.
“Azul is the largest domestic airline in Brazil in terms of cities served and daily departures,” said John Rodgerson, CEO of Azul. “As we did in the Brazilian domestic market over the last 13 years, we look forward to again, now with the Lilium Jet, working to create a whole new market in the years to come.”
In February United Airlines signed a deal with Archer Aviation, a manufacturer sustainable air mobility solutions, to accelerate the production of its own fleet of eVTOL aircraft. And in June, the carrier also announced an agreement to purchase 100 ES-19 electric aircraft manufactured by Gothenburg, Sweden-based startup Heart Aerospace.