Aircraft ground handling chain Jetex expects to deploy and operate urban air mobility (UAM) takeoff and landing infrastructure and services for passengers under a strategic partnership announced on May 25 with startup eVTOL developer and Volocopter. If the plan moves forward, Jetex could have some of these facilities up and running in 2024, when Volocopter expects to begin conducting air-taxi operations with its two-seat VoloCity eVTOL aircraft.
"The MoU is only the first step to looking at ideal routes and infrastructure locations in the cities mentioned," a Volocopter spokeswoman told FutureFlight. "And the details of what infrastructure will be used is still not final." The partners intend to jointly develop all aspects of "the customer journey process" for UAM.
According to Jetex, the priority markets for these vertiports are Miami, Singapore, and Paris, where the company already provides aircraft ground handling services and also where air-taxi operations are being mapped for passenger transportation. Both Jetex and Volocopter are now researching the most popular routes in these markets to ensure seamless transportation and organic integration with existing airport infrastructure.
“Today, we define the framework for the future of urban air mobility. The UAM market is projected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2020 to $9.1 billion by 2030. We are proud to work with our partners at Volocopter on making this vision a reality,” said Jetex founder and CEO Adel Mardini.
Volocopter has already conducted crewed flights over Paris, the U.S., and Singapore, where it unveiled its first full-scale air-taxi vertiport—dubbed a VoloPort—in Marina Bay in 2019. The company says it has not yet determined whether all of the planned landing sites will be branded as VoloPorts and it does not intend for the facilities to be for its exclusive use as an operator.
“Signing this MoU with Jetex is an important first step toward a strategic collaboration to deploy sustainable and integrated UAM operations, as well as passenger services,” said Volocopter chief commercial operator Christian Bauer.