Lilium receives firm order from to put 20 eVTOL jets into US service

Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) developer Lilium has announced a new partnership with advanced air mobility (AAM) operator UrbanLink that includes the purchase of at least 20 all-electric eVTOL jets. The aircraft will be operated around Florida as UrbanLink looks to become the first US airline fully committed to the nascent technology.

Lilium ($LILM) is a startup founded in Munich, Germany, in 2015 that has since expanded its footprint of development teams across Europe and the United States. Its current staff sits around 1,000 personnel, including 500 aerospace engineers, who continue to work toward bringing Lilium’s unique eVTOL Jet design to commercial operations in Regional Air Mobility (RAM).

Last fall, we saw Lilium achieve development certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), enabling the startup to continue developing, testing, and preparing its eVTOL jets ­en route toward certification and production before commercial operations.

Speaking of commercial operations, Lilium announced a new partnership with PhilJets in February to bring eVTOL jet rides to the Phillippines. Today, Lilium announced another partnership, this time with UrbanLink Air Mobility in the US, that includes a firm order with room for even more eVTOL jet sales in the future.

UrbanLink’s planned eVTOL service map / Source: Lilium

Lilium sells 20 eVTOL jets with opportunity for 20 more

Lilium shared details of its new partnership with UrbanLink today. The partnership includes a firm order for at least 20 eVTOL jets with an option for an additional 20 aircraft. The deal also includes scheduled pre-delivery payments from UrbanLink as the AAM operator looks to become one of the first US airlines to fully embrace aviation technology and integrate eVTOLs into commercial operations.

UrbanLink is led by Ed Wegel, a veteran in the aviation industry who previously served as founder and CEO of charter airline GlobalX alongside stints at Atlantic Coast Airlines and JetBlue. Wegel spoke:

While many airlines have discussed the potential of operating eVTOL aircraft, none have made a definitive commitment. UrbanLink will be the first airline in the U. to integrate eVTOL aircraft into its fleet. We are dedicated to revolutionizing the way people move to and from as well as within urban cores. After thorough evaluation of various manufacturers, we found the Lilium Jet to be the optimal choice for our needs, thanks to its superior cabin design, range, capacity, and cost-effectiveness.

To begin, UrbanLink intends to put the initial 20 eVTOL jets from Lilium into operation around South Florida, offering emissions-free flight routes between Miami, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Marco Island.

Lilium began producing its first eVTOL jets in late 2023 and is targeting its first piloted flight tests ahead of airworthiness certification by the end of the year. Lilium CCO Sebastien Borel spoke about the company’s progress and its new collaboration with a regional airline like UrbanLink:

We are proud that UrbanLink has selected the Lilium Jet for its network and operations. This is a huge milestone, not only for Lilium, but for the commercialization of eVTOLs in the US We believe that this purchase of eVTOL aircraft is the first by a commercial operator that isn’t invested in the manufacturer that it is purchasing from. This is a sign that the market for eVTOL aircraft has matured and there is growing demand for aircraft that can provide connections between, rather than just within, cities. I know that Ed has the vision and operational expertise to make regional air mobility a success

UrbanLink intends to begin commercial flight services with the Lilium eVTOL jets by late 2026.

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