Asia-Europe Aviation Leasing Limited, a Hong Kong-registered aircraft leasing firm, signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement yesterday with eVTOL startup Volant (沃兰特) at its Shanghai R&D Center, confirming a conditional order of 55 of Volant’s VE25 aircraft.
VE25 is a pure electric, passenger-grade eVTOL vehicle, with a composite wing structure, a maximum range of 200 km and a maximum cruising speed of 235 kph.
These technical attributes enable the aircraft to meet the needs of both the passenger and cargo transportation market.
The order placed for 55 aircraft is also the first large-scale deal Volant has secured for the cargo-transporting edition of its VE25 model.
In addition to the purchase, the Hong Kong lessor will also partner with Volant in areas such as aircraft leasing, unmanned cargo delivery, design and modification of VE25 for cargo services, and industrial application.
cnrobopedia reported on April 8 that Volant had secured pre-orders for 400 units of VE25 from seven clients.
The latest pre-sale brought the total to over 480, with eight companies signing advance purchase contracts for the aircraft from Volant.
They include big names like China Southern Airlines, Huaxia Feidi Technology, and Ruoer Aviation Industry, covering the entire eVTOL application scenarios such as low-altitude sightseeing, training, short-distance transportation, cargo delivery, emergency rescue, and urban mobility.
“We have been paying close attention to the Southeast Asian air cargo market for a long time. We firmly believe in the future of eVTOL and the creative opportunities it brings to the regional air cargo market,” said Liu Hongmei, chairman of Asia-Europe Aviation Leasing.
She added the unfolding revolution in aviation, spearheaded by eVTOL and other aerial vehicles, has led her to believe that China’s air cargo market will “shift into high gear,” transitioning to a multi-billion-dollar blue-ocean market.
“Volant is a global leading enterprise in the eVTOL field, and we firmly believe that choosing Volant means choosing to work with professionals and strong partners,” said Liu.
Dong Ming, founder and CEO of VOLANT, said that after multiple rounds of talks, the two firms have reached a consensus on the role eVTOL can play in the domestic air cargo market.
“We believe that the strategic cooperation between us will promote the application and development of China’s eVTOL industry, both in the passenger and cargo categories,” Dong noted.
Lu Peibin, chairman of the Shanghai General Aviation Industry Association, said that eVTOL startups in Shanghai lead the nation in this field, with unique industrial, capital and talent advantages in the country and even the world.
“The Association will firmly support the development of Chinese eVTOL leaders represented by Volant and work with them to continue fostering the levels of commercialization, marketization, and democratization of eVTOL industry,” said Lu.
The article was rewritten based on a draft copy by ChatGPT.