Volocopter and Japan Airlines plan air taxi launch within three years
Having tested out its aircraft in Dubai, Singapore, Helsinki and Germany, Volocopter is spreading its tentacles far and wide in its efforts to get its air taxi service up and running. The company is now turning its attention to Japan through a new agreement with Japan Airlines, and says it is preparing for a commercial launch in the country within a few years.
Volocopter hopes to use its 18-rotor all-electric aircraft to carry folks over busy urban centers, offering a clean and efficient form of travel that cuts down on air pollution and journey times. Its flying taxi is designed to carry goods or two passengers over distances of up to 35 km (21 mi), at speeds of up to 110 km/h (68 mph).
Japan Airlines actually invested in Volocopter earlier in the year, and the two are now expanding on this partnership through a new agreement to pursue air mobility solutions for Japan’s cities and prefectures.
This collaboration will seek to leverage Japan Airlines’ expertise in safe aircraft operation and Volocopter’s know-how when it comes to battery-powered aircraft. One of the goals of the venture will be to provide medical supplies to remote areas, but more broadly aims to usher in an era of next-generation air transportation options for not just passengers, but cargo, too.
The approach will involve working with individual cities and prefectures, building market demand and local partnerships, and no doubt jumping through regulatory hoops. Ultimately, the two are preparing for “commercial launch in Japan within the next three years.”