Avolon considers new investments in aviation

Avolon’s investment in an electric aircraft maker likely marks the start of a new direction for the Ireland-based aircraft rental company, according to its CEO.

Avolon has contributed $ 15 million in equity to Vertical Aerospace, which develops small electric planes capable of vertical takeoffs and landings.

They can carry four passengers a distance of around 160 km, with plans to begin commercial flights in 2024.

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Speaking in New York as Vertical Aerospace was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Avolon CEO Domhnal Slattery said his investment in the company could be the first of many projects carried out in start-ups aeronautics.

He said Vertical Aerospace represented a small step towards an electric future for aviation, although he said the industry was still many years away from the electric capacity to carry the types of passengers routinely seen on flights. commercial.

Instead, he said he expected hydrogen-based planes, along with sustainable aviation fuel, to be the fastest route for decarbonization in the industry.

Mr Slattery said airlines are aware of the need to reduce their environmental impact and that he anticipates a “carrot and stick” approach from authorities in the area.

Avolon ordered 500 plans from Vertical Aerospace, and Mr. Slattery rejected suggestions that their eventual flights would be the preserve of the wealthy. He said the business model was designed to keep the cost of flying on a Vertical aircraft low. He said it would be cheaper than a helicopter for a distance equivalent and comparable to Uber’s premium “Uber X” service.

Mr Slattery also said he believed Ireland could be the perfect place for Vertical to manufacture its vehicles, and IDA Ireland had made a strong initial case for securing this company.

He said it was not his decision to make, but that he would encourage Vertical’s management to choose Ireland, although he also agreed that the country would face stiff opposition from the UK. Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

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