Log-in here if you’re already a subscriber Release DateDecember 15, 2022Electric aircraft unknowns spur new approaches to leasingPurchase a PDF...
While such deals across the rising eVTOL industry seemingly represent a new aerospace business model in which customers have a stake in the overall success of the product, a detailed review of securities filings and other fine print by The Air Current reveals a far more transactional arrangement. Airlines are lending their branding and credibility in exchange for a possibly lucrative piece of a buzzy market, regardless of whether or not an aircraft will be delivered or even formally ordered.
NetJets and FlightSafety International – both units of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway – have jumped into the electric vertical take-off and landing market, announcing plans for a strategic partnership with the German eVTOL developer Lilium. Buffett’s aviation investments have been stretched across the aerospace chain and with varying success. Chorus Aviation is acquiring Falko Regional Aircraft, kicking off a fresh round of consolidation in the leasing space -- this time among those who focus on regional aviation. The Federal Aviation Administration and U.K. Civil Aviation Authority have started working toward a bilateral agreement for the future certification and validation of eVTOL aircraft. It’s a post-Brexit signal that the CAA is not looking exclusively to Europe for guidance.
GE Aviation and Safran laid out their post-pandemic strategy, a broad technology development plan called RISE aimed at low-emission propulsion for commercial aviation in the 2030s. In a ceremony befitting the cinematic legacy of Southern California, eVTOL entrant Archer unveiled its Maker technology demonstrator. The well-funded start up is part of an industry gold rush that looks a lot like aerial entrepreneurs of the 1920s. Your humble correspondent returned to flying again after 470 days on the ground. But who's counting?
Today's stopgap power-by-the-hour agreements with ailing airlines test the viability of a future all-inclusive leasing model.