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.
When Embraer spinoff Eve on Dec. 21 confirmed plans to combine with Zanite Acquisition Corp., it became the sixth company in the urban air mobility space to link up with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Rather than speak to the continued strength of SPACs, however, the deal illustrates the funding vehicle’s decline as an ample source of outside capital — even as it cements Embraer’s strategy of using partnerships to expand into new markets.