AirAsia to lease at least 100 flying taxis for air ridesharing service

AirAsia to lease at least 100 flying taxis for air ridesharing service

FILE PHOTO: A rendering of Vertical Aerospace's VA-X4 aircraft is seen in this image obtained by Reuters on June 11, 2021. (Vertical Aerospace/Handout via REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: A rendering of Vertical Aerospace's VA-X4 aircraft is seen in this image obtained by Reuters on June 11, 2021. (Vertical Aerospace/Handout via REUTERS)

SINGAPORE: AirAsia Aviation Group on Wednesday unveiled plans for a low-cost air ridesharing service in Southeast Asia after signing a non-binding deal with lessor Avolon for at least 100 Vertical Aerospace VX4 electric vehicles.

Tony Fernandes, chief executive of AirAsia parent Capital A, said 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.

He said the air ridesharing services would be bookable through AirAsia's mobile app and offered at an accessible price point, just as the budget carrier had done for its regular flights.

"We don't want this to be an exclusive product," Fernandes told reporters. "We want everyone to be able to use this product."

Avolon ordered 500 VX4 aircraft from Vertical Aerospace last year and has since placed 90% with AirAsia, Japan Airlines and Brazil's Gol and Grupo Comporte.

The four-passenger, one-pilot VX4 is expected to have a range of more than 160km and is one of a growing number of entrants in the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) sector.

Avolon CEO Domhnal Slattery, who is also the chairman of Vertical Aerospace, said the first VX4 test flights would start in April. 

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (2)

Wat Choeng Tha, location for TV soap 'Love Destiny', flooded

AYUTTHAYA: Wat Choeng Tha, a restored ancient temple and filming location for the popular TV series Bupphaesannivas (Love Destiny) in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district, was flooded by water overflowing from nearby canals on Friday morning.

11:55

Their Majesties to visit massacre victims

Their Majesties the King and Queen will visit victims of Thursday's preschool massacre in Nong Bua Lam Phu and Udon Thani provinces on Friday night, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said.

11:45

VIDEO: This Week's Top Stories

This week: mass murder, child driver BMW crash and widespread flooding

10:54