As it looks ahead to the costs of scaling up production and launching a commercial air taxi service, Joby Aviation is contemplating the sale and leaseback of its electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft as one possible approach to financing its vertically integrated business model.
The California-based eVTOL developer has long planned to own and operate its electric air taxis rather than sell them to third-party customers. That is still the case, but in November, Joby quietly amended language in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission to open the door to aircraft sales.
Joby has publicly acknowledged the possibility of selling aircraft to the U.S. Department of Defense, with which it already has a$131 million contract, and to its partners in international markets that have foreign ownership restrictions, including Japan and South Korea.
Now, The Air Current has learned that the company has also been discussing sale-leasebacks as one way to generate cash while continuing to exclude third-party operators of its aircraft. While these discussions haven’t led to deals, they shed light on how the company is thinking about funding its capital-intensive business model without revenue from direct aircraft sales.
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