FALLS CHURCH, VA. - Electra.aero, Inc., a next-gen clean aviation technology company, has secured purchase commitments for 180 of the company's hybrid-electric ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft, totalling more than $500 million in value. The deals are part of cooperative agreements with air service providers and infrastructure developers in multiple countries, and reflect global demand for low-emissions transportation as countries strive to meet carbon reduction targets.
Electra has signed agreements with Flapper, the largest on-demand private aviation platform in Latin America, and with Skyportz, Australia's trailblazing advanced air mobility infrastructure developer. Electra previously announced an agreement with the leading global vertical flight operator Bristow Group. Combined, the three partnerships give Electra an inside track on the design, operation, ground support, and marketing of its innovative aircraft.
With less fuel burn and emissions per passenger than a personal car, Electra's hybrid-electric aircraft supports global emissions reduction targets. The fixed-wing aircraft will initially carry up to seven passengers and a pilot or 1800 pounds of cargo up to 500 miles in all weather conditions. Its ability to take off and land in just 100 feet, with in-flight battery recharging, enables flight operations from places previously inaccessible by flight, including urban rooftops and corporate parking lots. Electra's technology delivers 2.5x the payload and 10X longer range with 70% lower operating costs than vertical takeoff alternatives, proving that climate friendly technology can also be cost-effective.
"These strategic agreements go beyond the technological development and manufacturing of the aircraft," said John S. Langford, Founder and CEO of Electra.aero. "They chart the entire ecosystem needed for its successful operation, ground support, and customer use that together validate the commercial viability and market confidence in our eSTOL aircraft." The global urban and regional advanced air mobility market that Electra serves is forecast by Morgan Stanley at $1 trillion.
Flapper On-Demand Private Aviation Platform
Flapper is Latin America's leading charter flight reservation platform, offering near real-time online booking for passenger and freight cargo services for a fleet of over 730 aircraft. Its on-demand service saves hours of travel time between congested cities and airports in a region considered the most urbanized on the planet, with over 80% of its population in cities. Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Electra will be Flapper's preferred aircraft provider for 5-plus seat regional air services. As Electra's preferred service provider in Brazil, Flapper commits to purchase 15 Electra eSTOL aircraft with an option for 15 more planes. The two companies will jointly pursue new route networks including for heliport operators and real estate developers and investors.
"Our transition to sustainable electric aircraft is expected to achieve 40% savings in our operational costs, and open our service to new destinations," said Paul Malicki, CEO of Flapper. "With Electra's eSTOL plane, we look forward to offering our customers unparalleled urban and regional air mobility in cities such as São Paulo, Bogotá, Santiago de Chile or Ciudad de Mexico – all at a fraction of the cost of a helicopter ride."
"Latin America is a key urban air mobility market, and the city of São Paulo, Brazil operates the largest passenger helicopter fleet in the world," noted Langford. "Together with Flapper we'll deliver a quieter, more economical aircraft to this market that slashes fuel burn by 70% versus helicopters, helping to preserve Brazil's natural beauty and unique biodiversity through a low carbon footprint."
Skyportz Air Mobility Infrastructure Network
Skyportz is developing a comprehensive infrastructure network in Australia to attract and support future urban and regional air mobility services. Electra and Skyportz will be preferred partners under an MOU that includes a Purchase Agreement for up to 100 Electra eSTOL aircraft, enabling Skyportz and its operating partners to directly connect city centers or dispersed logistics facilities, and deliver cargo to remote regions. The companies are exploring opportunities in Australia for early trials leveraging Electra's full-scale technology demonstrator, which enters flight testing in the US in 2022.
"Australia exemplifies the type of market that will greatly benefit from Electra's eSTOL aircraft, with our greater payload capabilities, lower emissions, longer range, and reduced operating costs," Langford said. "Electra is excited to collaborate with Skyportz, in anticipation of our eSTOL aircraft flying missions in Australia ranging from on-demand intracity passenger flights to medical transport, cargo logistics, remote area missions and more.
"At Skyportz we are assembling the infrastructure backbone to make Australia even more attractive for innovative aircraft builders looking for a place to trial real world use cases," noted former Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne Clem Newton-Brown, Founder and CEO of Skyportz. "We look forward to introducing Electra to our property, freight and logistics partners and developing some viable applications for their aircraft."
Bristow Group Aerial Flight Solutions
Previously on August 26, 2021, Electra and Bristow Group (NYSE:VTOL) signed an MOU under which the two firms will cooperate on the technical development and certification as well as marketing of Electra's eSTOL aircraft, with an expected delivery of 50 eSTOL planes. The companies will explore new markets for Bristow operations using the aircraft focused on middle mile logistics for retail distribution and passenger service.