The South Korea-based Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft developer PLANA on Wednesday announced that it has delivered 50 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts to Japan.
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The company announced that it had signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with SkyTaxi (SoratobuTaxi Co Ltd) for the hybrid eVTOL CP-01 currently under development. Additionally, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SkyTaxi for the development and operation of AAM aircraft. According to the company, the initial 10 aircrafts will be delivered in 2030, followed by an additional 40 by 2040.
Daiho Taxi Group started the SkyTaxi company last year. The Daiho Taxi Group has been operating taxi companies in the Osaka region of Japan for almost a century.
SkyTaxi was created to venture into the “air taxi” business. The company is currently training pilots, introducing new aircraft, and conducting operational tests. Sky Taxi is preparing to launch air routes that will connect Osaka’s city centres, including Umeda and Namba, world heritage and sightseeing destinations all over Japan, as well as Kansai and Kobe airports.
These routes are expected to be operational in time for the 2025 Osaka Expo. In the future, SkyTaxi plans to launch long-distance operations focused on the tourism industry, utilising eVTOL aircraft. SkyTaxi said that PLANA’s CP-01 was chosen due to its significantly longer flight range through the utilisation of a hybrid approach.
Under the letter of intent and business agreement, PLANA and SkyTaxi will collaborate on the development of AAM aircraft, operational concepts, and interior design concepts that cater to the needs of ‘air taxi’ operators, market analysis, and demonstrations. It is also planned to develop cross-border AAM air routes utilising the CP-01, which will be supplied by PLANA in the future.
Takuto Hojo, CEO of SkyTaxi, said that this collaborative project between PLANA and SkyTaxi will have a huge impact on the global AAM industry by players from Asia.
“We are committed to developing the best business with PLANA so that we can be a model case for one of Asia’s leading AAM industries,” he added.
Braden J. Kim, the CEO of PLANA, said that with the signing of this letter of intent and business cooperation, they have opened a huge potential market in Japan, and for the first time in the world were looking at cross-border travel.
“We will proceed with the development of the aircraft according to the roadmap we have designed and continue to develop more optimised utilisation models by understanding the specificities of each country’s market,” he added.