The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Lilium Nominates Airline Entrepreneur Neeleman For Post-Merger Board

Airline entrepreneur David Neeleman is set to join the board of eVTOL aircraft developer Lilium once it completes its merger with Qell Acquisition Corp. Shareholders are set to approve the deal with the special purpose acquisition company on September 10, and this is expected to lead to a New York Stock Exchange listing before the end of the month.

Neeleman is chairman of Brazilian airline group Azul, which in early August agreed to buy 220 of Lilium’s seven-seat eVTOL aircraft with a view to developing a network of commercial flights that could start in 2025. He has founded five different airlines, including U.S. carrier JetBlue Airways and Azul Brazilian Airlines.

Lilium’s board will be chaired by former Airbus CEO Thomas Enders. Other nominated directors include Gabrielle Toledano, chief operating officer at Keystone Strategy, and Henri Courpron, founder and chairman of Plane View Partners and former CEO of International Lease Finance Corporation and Airbus North America.

Program partners for the all-electric Lilium Jet, which features 36 ducted fans installed in a fixed-wing and canard include the following: Honeywell Aerospace (fly-by-wire controls, avionics, and certification support), Palantir (intelligence and data management), Lufthansa Aviation Training (pilot recruitment and training), and Ferrovial (vertiports). Both Honeywell and Palantir are directly investing in Lilium. Lilium has also signed up business aviation services group Luxaviation to provide operational support for its planned air taxi services.